Franklin’s Gulls at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

/, Birds, Box Elder County, Franklin's Gulls, Utah/Franklin’s Gulls at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Juvenile Franklin's Gull on the wingJuvenile Franklin’s Gull on the wing – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Franklin’s Gulls are only here in northern Utah during the breeding season, during the winter they spend their time along the west coast of South America. From all indications the majority of the Franklin’s Gull here in Utah have already migrated because in the past week I have only seen one of them along the causeway to Antelope Island State Park and I have seen none of them at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

First Summer Franklin's GullFirst Summer Franklin’s Gull – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I miss Franklin’s Gulls when they are gone. I miss seeing them feeding on brine flies along the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake. I miss seeing them flying over the marshes in huge flocks. I miss seeing them splashing down onto the waters of the marshes to chase another gull away. And I miss watching them flying over the sagebrush hills near the Promontory Mountains  hawking insects from the air.

Adult nonbreeding Franklin's Gull with a fishAdult nonbreeding Franklin’s Gull with a fish – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/4000, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I miss seeing them catching fish in freshwater lakes, marshes and ponds. And I miss their calls which for some odd reason I find soothing and delightful.

Franklin’s Gulls and the other gulls I see are truly appealing to me and I make no excuses about that. They are just as fascinating to me as an eagle, warbler, falcon, a hummingbird or any bird at all.

Life is good.



  1. Marty K October 14, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Your second shot is of my very favorite bird pose! 🙂 Thank you for making gulls special again. I get so that I take them for granted because the coastal ones swoop onto campus after the kids have been out for nutrition or lunch period. I’m so used to seeing them congregating (or my trying not to be a “target,” if you know what I mean), that I don’t always notice how beautiful they are.

  2. Elephants Child October 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I don’t think there are any birds I am not awed and fascinated by. I am so very grateful that you share ones I will never see for myself. Thank you.

  3. Patty Chadwick October 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I always love shots of gulls…there’s no more beautiful sight to me than a bunch of gulls wheeling, swooping, soaring againt a blue sky, backlit by sunshine…love the sound of their “sea music”, too.

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