Herring Gull flying over Bear River MBR – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/6400, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
In my post yesterday on Ring-billed Gulls at Bear River MBR I mentioned that there were other species of gulls near the open water on the refuge on that cold January morning this year.
We do see Herring Gulls in northern Utah during the winter and I was able to photograph this one as it circled over the water with the snow-covered Promontory Mountains and sky behind it. Herring Gulls do not breed in northern Utah but they do migrate through this area and some of them will even over winter here.
Winter Herring Gull in Utah – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/4000, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Herring Gulls are a bit larger than the California Gulls that are common here in Utah plus Herring Gulls have light colored eyes where the California’s typically have dark eyes. There are other differences of course but when I am scanning winter gulls I look for eye colors and size differences first then look for other differences after that. That is just me though and gulls are notoriously challenging to ID because they have so many plumage phases and that can be confusing.
I was happy to spot this Herring Gull among the Ring-billed and California Gulls near the open water or perched on a shelf of ice. For some people a gull is a gull is a gull but I like to keep an eye out for the gulls that aren’t as common here in northern Utah.
Life is good.