Hi everyone! Our bird for today is the “ring-billed gull”. They look like twins of the herring gull we saw yesterday, but this one has a black ring on it’s beak and lacks the red spot on the beak that the herring gull has. Plus this one is much smaller, as will be shown in the next pic. Due to a population explosion in the last 50 years, this is now the most numerous gull in N. America and the one most people will likely see. The largest colony is in the U.S. portion of Lake Ontario on Galloo Island and has an estimated 82,000 pairs. Here they were not known in the 1960s, there was a few in the 1970s and several thousand by the 1980s. Now there is an estimated 15,000 birds on our lake. Due to large numbers they are becoming a nuisance by taking over nesting sites of other birds and becoming a major hazard at airports. They will eat most any kind of food and one thing that has contributed to their population explosion is our large garbage dumps where food is so abundant. Here they took over the nesting islands of the common tern (a gull-like bird, but smaller) because they come earlier than the terns in spring. But after a few years the terns arrived early with larger numbers and took back most of their nesting grounds.
Have a wonderful day everyone and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2021 Steve McLeod.