Gull


The Mew Gull was photographed on Nenano River and spruce tree tops at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge in Alaska, and the bridge crossing on Salvage River East.

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The Mew Gull is smaller than a Ring-Billed Gull with white head, breast and bottom, a gray back, small greenish yellow bill and greenish legs. Its wing tips are black with white spots. It has a range of Northern Eurasia, western North America-that includes the bottom half of Alaska and northwestern Canada. It has a habitat of coastal waters in winter, and lakes and rivers in summer. The diet is mostly small fish along the coasts, mostly insects along inland lakes and rivers, but also eats crustaceans, mollusks, earthworms, small rodents, young birds, berries, and grains. Nest may be on high ground, on top of a stump, or in a dense low spruce up to 20ft above the ground-all near water.

 

The adult Great Black-Backed Gull was photographed at McKinley Marina in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The 3rd winter juvenile Great Black-Backed Gull was photographed at Ocean Lakes in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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The Greater Black-Backed Gull has black back and wings, and white underparts with pink legs and is the largest gull Young gulls have contrast brown, paler on the head, tail, and under parts.. This 3rd winter immature Gull still has a black tip on the beak. It is larger than a Herring Gull and the smaller Lesser Black-Backed Gull. It has a range of mainly northern North Atlantic United States. It has a habitat of mainly coastal waters, estuaries: a few on large lakes. The diet includes carrion, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, marine worms, insects, rodents, berries, and the adults young and eggs of other birds. It is primarily a bird of the Atlantic coast and seldom seen inland except on the Great Lakes.

 

The Lesser Black-backed Gull was photographed at Northridge Lakes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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The Lesser Black-backed Gull has slightly light dark gray-black back and snow-white belly, streaking on the head and darker around the eyes, with pink (younger) and yellow (older) legs, streaking on head and darker around the eyes, and is distinguished by yellow legs after the third winter. The juvenile has a black bill, pink legs, and streaking on the belly. 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.

 

The Thayers’s Gulls were photographed at the Northridge lake in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a mostly frozen lake

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The Thayer’s Gull is similar to a Herring Gull with gray back and white lowers, pink legs, bill with a red spot, slate gray primaries, round white or smudgy head, and a purplish-red orbital ring around pale yellow to dark brown eyes. It has a range of Arctic Canada and winters on the Pacific Coast. It has a habitat of coastal waters and bays. It feeds on animal and vegetable substances of small fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and berries. It’s closely related to the Iceland Gull and is difficult to tell from the Iceland and Herring Gulls.

 

The Slaty-Backed Gull was photographed on Northridge Lakes in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.

The Slaty-Backed Gull was photographed on Northridge Lakes in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.

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The Slaty-Backed Gull is a large white headed (often with streaks) Gull, with a white belly and tail, dark pink legs, yellow bill with orange-red sub-terminal spot, dark steak through eye, and a dark slaty-gray back. The wings have a broad white trailing edge. It has a range of Far East Asia and the western coast of Alaska, but travels widely during non-breeding seasons. It has a habitat that is mainly coastal and northeastern Asia. Its diet consists mainly of fish and invertebrates, such as crabs and sea urchins.

 

The Kumlien's Gull, a form of the Iceland or Thayer's Gull, was photographed at South Shore Park Marina in Bayview, Wisconsin.

The Kumlien’s Gull, a form of the Iceland or Thayer’s Gull, was photographed at South Shore Yacht Club in Bayview, Wisconsin.

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The Kumlien’s Gull, a form of the Iceland or Thayer’s Gull, is white with a gray mantle and slightly gray or dark primaries, a yellow bill with orange dot, and pink legs with webbed feet. It has a range of eastern Arctic Canada to northeaster United States. It has a habitat of coastal areas and less frequent inland. Their diet consists of marine life, plant and animal food, refuse, and carrion.

 

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.

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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 common large Gull, often called “seagull”, since it is seen around large bodies of water.

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

Select this link to see information on the Milwaukee County Zoo where the above photo was taken.

The Herring Gull is the most common of the Gulls. I had taken photos of the immature Herring Gull one year earlier, and had not been able to find a mature one until I was taking some pictures at the Milwaukee County Zoo, and noticed a large Gull eying the food of a polar bear. I still did not know which Gull it was until I reviewed the picture and was pleasantly surprised that is a Herring Gull. The immature Herring Gulls were found at the Little Muskego Lake in Muskego, Wisconsin. They appeared to be on their second winter from the coloring.

Select this link to see panoramic photos of the Milwaukee County Zoo when the Herring Gull photos were taken