Seagulls or more accurately Herring Gulls like parking lots and they like beaches so naturally their favorite place is the parking lot at the beach! This is exactly where I found a flock of about 30 yesterday during my Misty Morning Beach Finds photo-shoot.
I approached slowly and they allowed me to get surprisingly close. Of course I had to try and get just a little bit closer and that’s when the first few began to turn and walk or take a mini-flight to a more comfortable distance from the “human with the camera”. They seemed to be content simply resting together, some sitting and most standing among broken shells, evidence of a morning mollusk meal.
After a while the majority of the flock had moved and was perched all in a row on a low fence. As I walked further I noticed a solitary smaller adult (female?) pacing and pecking at broken shells. As I watched I noticed she had a limp. She continued on her own, close to but she did not join the larger group. I wonder if she was ostracized from the flock because of her disability.
Interesting facts about Herring Gulls
- When fresh water is not around herring gulls can drink salt water and have special glands over their eyes that secrete the salt in a solution.
- The gulls which are gray and brown all over with black-tip beaks (instead of red-tips) are not fully mature
- It takes four years and several stages to reach full adult plumage.
- During winter the characteristically white head and neck of the adult becomes speckled gray
- Gulls have some learned behaviors like that of cracking clams open by dropping them on rocks