Coastal


The Royal Tern was photographed on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina

The Royal Tern was photographed on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Royal Tern

The Royal Tern is a medium sized seabird with a large orange bill, a deeply forked tail, a gray back, white under primaries, and a black or white forehead with black feathers forming a crest. The Royal Tern is one of the larger terns. It has a range strictly on the United States east, southeast, and Gulf, and northwest Mexico coasts. The habitats are coasts, sandy beaches, and salt bays. It is almost never seen inland. It feeds on small fish and crustaceans.

This younger Lesser Black-Backed Gull was photographed on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina

This younger Lesser Black-Backed Gull was photographed on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Lesser Black-Backed Gull

The Lesser Black-Backed Gull has black back and snow-white underparts with pink (younger) and yellow (older) legs. The range is Northern Europe, but may be found migrating in North America. It has a habitat at beaches, bays, coasts, and garbage dumps. The diet includes fish, insects, mollusks, crustaceans, marine worms, and refuge in dumps. It has not been proven to nest in the United States. North American records are of the Britain/Iceland population that is indicated by a lighter black back. When seen they are few in number, and usually only for a short time.

This lone Glaucous Gull was photographed north of Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan.

This lone Glaucous Gull was photographed north of Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Glaucous Gull

The Glaucous Gull is a chalky white gull with a gray mantle, frosty white wing tips, flesh colored legs, and large yellow bill. Adults have a pale gray mantle. It has a range of the Arctic; circumpolar, and comes to the Great Lakes and the northeast US coast. Also Alaska, western Canada coast, and northwestern US coast. It is the only large Gull common to the High Artic. It has a coastal habitat and seldom comes inland. The diet is highly variable, includes fish, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, sea urchins, insects, birds, eggs, berries, seaweed, and carrion (dead animals).

The Bonaparte’s Gull is the smallest Gull usually seen in North America.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Bonaparte’s Gull

The Bonaparte’s Gull is a small gray and white Gull with red legs, and a black head in the summer. The winter adult has a white head with a black earspot. This is the smallest gull usually seen over North America. It nests in trees and not on the ground, as other gulls do. Its normal range is from Alaska to central Canada. It winters on the Great Lakes and the coasts of the United States. Its habitat is Ocean Bays, rivers, and lakes. The diet is insects, crustaceans, and fish.

The Purple Sandpiper, being a rarity to the Great Lakes, brought out the bird watchers to see them at north of Bradford Beach, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Purple Sandpiper

The Purple Sandpiper is a dumpy slate-gray colored bird with a white belly and eye ring, and short yellow legs. It is a rarity to the Great Lakes, so many bird watchers were out to get a first hand life view. Its normal range is the arctic, and winters along the coasts of the North Atlantic-further north than any other shorebird. Its habitat is wave washed rocks, jetties and eats mostly insects and mollusks. I was walking up the Bradford Beach when I came to a log to step over. The shells on the beached seemed to move. Looking closely, this small dumpy bird was seen darting around while the Gulls and Mallards were sitting.

The Black Vulture is mostly found in flat low lands and nests in forests in the southeast of the United States.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Black Vulture

This big black scavenger is identified by a shot stubby tail and white patch toward the wing tip. It has a gray head. Mostly seen in the southeast of the United States. Avoids higher mountains, scarce in open plains. Usually seen soaring in the sky or perched on dead trees, posts, power poles, or on the ground. The Black Vulture has a wingspan less than 5 feet.

 

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the American Oystercatcher

The American Oystercatcher ranges on the coasts of the world. In the US it is on the Atlantic, Florida and Gulf coasts. It will be found on coastal beaches and tidal flats. The outstanding features are the red flattened bill, pink flesh legs, and black head with dark back. The Oystercatcher uses it’s bill to catch oysters and other shellfish by surprise.

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