Tricia Booker Photography

Ring-Billed Gulls of D.C.


Ring-Billed Gull with Jefferson Memorial

The Tidal Basin photo of the birds in flight yesterday, featured on my blog, enjoyed some extra publicity this morning when it was featured on the NBC Washington Channel 4 news/weather. Meteorologist Tom Kierein picked it up from Twitter, and it was fun to see the image on TV as I got my son off to school.

Out of curiosity, I decided to figure out which gull species were in that huge flock. I’d also taken some photos of individual gulls, so after studying my dog-eared copy of the Peterson Field Guide to Birds, I concluded that they were primarily Ring-Billed Gulls.


Ring-Billed Gull

Thankfully, with their characteristic black ring circling the bill, I was able to pick out this species from the many gulls that call Eastern North America home. This is a common gull, and I had to smile when I read the description of their habitat: Lakes, bays, coasts, piers, dumps, plowed fields, sewage outlets, shopping malls, fast-food restaurants.

I guess this particular flock, which calls our Nation’s Capital in Washington, D.C. home, has better taste than most…although I’ll let you decide if that is indeed the case!



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