When some birds fledge they look very much like their parents and usually there are just a few ways you can tell them from the adults. But in Ring-billed Gulls they look very different.
This adult Ring-billed Gull was photographed this past January at Farmington Bay WMA as it flew past me. I love the clean white plumage, the definite ring on the bill and the soft gray of the upper parts of its wings.
Looking at the gull above it would be hard for some people to tell that it is the same species as the gull in the photo above, but it is. I photographed this juvenile or hatch year Ring-billed Gull one year ago today while photographing at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. No ring on the bill, no clean white and no gray showing at all. It will take several molts before this immature Ring-billed Gull looks like an adult but by now, a year after it was photographed, this juvenile should look more like the adult.
I think both adult and juvenile Ring-billed Gulls are beautiful whether they are on the wing or in the water.
Life is good.
(Sorry for hitting the publish button before I added my text content this morning, I needed more coffee!)