There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ring-billed Gull

Larus delawarensis

Small gull
Yellow bill with black ring at tip
Pale eye
White head and underparts
Light gray back
White spots on black wingtips
Yellow legs

Listen to its call.

Size difference  between California Gull (on left) and Ring-billed Gull (on right)
 It was just by accident that I captured this bird on film.  In fact, I didn't even realized I had until today when I was looking through some photos I took on Sidney Spit in late August.  There were lots of shorebirds that day, as well as herons and what seemed like hundreds of gulls.  This one stood out because of its small size. It was only on closer inspection that I noticed the pale eye and black ring near the tip of its short, yellow bill.  It wonder how many other little gems I might have hidden in my computer files.

Learn more about the Ring-billed Gull.

Additional photos:

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