Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull looking for a fishy handout

Ring-billed Gulls were very common along the Mississippi River, last weekend while was on a boating outing with friends near the Palisades State Park of Illinois. In the past on trips to the Apostle Islands or Isle Royale National Park, I remember huge flocks of gulls following commercial fishing boats on Lake Superior (hoping for a handout of unwanted fish that were cast from the boats. So while we were cruising the Mississippi in the speedboat, every once in a while a Ring-billed Gull (Above, 8-7-10) would fly up behind the boat and follow, probably checking us out to see if we were a fishing boat with handouts available. When the gull decided that we weren't giving out fish treats, it would fly off. A couple of times the gulls flew so close behind us, I was able to get some good photos without using my zoom at its maximum level. Using the Sports mode on my Canon Rebel T1i made it possible to capture the gulls in flight to stop action.

The ring on the tip of the bill of this Ring-billed Gull is more evident.

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