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Old Feb 22, 2010, 4:14 PM   #1
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Default Western Specialty I - Heermann's Gull

Heermann's Gull is a Western specialty, occurring only along the North American Pacific coast, spending most of its time offshore. They breed only on islands in the Gulf of California which they share with (and kleptoparasitize) Elegant Terns, following them North in the late Summer and early Fall. This gull is attractive to look at, but is a nasty customer, being jaeger like in its flight and aggressiveness, attacking and forcing terns, other gulls, and even pelicans to drop their prey for them to grab. It is a four-year gull, acquiring its breeding plumage in its fourth year after hatching. The adults shown below are preparing to move to the breeding grounds, and are showing some pre-breeding activities. Long calls can have several functions, but are used most frequently on the breeding grounds - the one shown (unfortunately only from the back) is the first I have seen here. The all dark subadult individual shown below resembles the winter adult, and will have its first breeding plumage next year.

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Old Feb 22, 2010, 4:16 PM   #2
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 5:55 AM   #3
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Great photos and a great ornithology lesson too! I especially enjoyed the compostion on #4 (and the interesting information as well).
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 5:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
Great photos and a great ornithology lesson too! I especially enjoyed the compostion on #4 (and the interesting information as well).
I was lucky to catch them posing like that. Thanks for stopping by and commenting - I'm glad you found it to your liking.
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 7:05 PM   #5
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Great pix, Pen!
Sometimes its better to be lucky than
good.
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 7:31 PM   #6
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I'm gonna kleptoparasitize all these shots and claim I took em. In fact, I'm gonna steal the lecture as well!!!

(Very nicely done on all counts!)

Dave
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 7:33 PM   #7
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these are really nice penolta.
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Old Feb 28, 2010, 9:10 PM   #8
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Thanks, GW, Dave, and Dustin. Glad you liked them - they were in better condition than the squirrels in part II.
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