I like gulls, I know that gulls are not always a popular subject for many bird photographers and that they will often pass them by but to me they are as delightful, beautiful and fascinating as any other bird. I’m an unbiased bird photographer, if it has feathers and flies… I will photograph it. Sure certain species of gulls can be very common in some areas but they aren’t in other parts of the world. Why pass them up?

Juvenile Franklin's GullsJuvenile Franklin’s Gulls – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I photographed these two juvenile Franklin’s Gulls (Larus pipixcan) while in the Centennial Valley of southwestern Montana last week. There were large flocks of Franklin’s Gulls in the area and I felt lucky that these two young birds were close enough to photograph. There was a third immature Franklin’s that was in a beautiful setting with small yellow flowers surrounding it but unfortunately a large California Gull that was behind it just didn’t listen to me when I politely asked it to remove its rump from behind my intended subject because it was distracting. Oh well, these two posed nicely for me.

Franklin’s Gulls are unique in that it is believed that they molt twice a year because they may need fresh flight feathers for their 5000 mile migration from their wintering and breeding grounds and back again. I enjoy the bright white, broad eye arcs of this species, it always gives them a wide-eyed look!

Mia