I don’t join many groups on Facebook but I am in a lot of groups because people add me to them, most of the groups are about nature photography, wildlife photography, bird photography, bird ID, and you guessed it, birds. I guess people see my photos and go “Hey, she belongs in this group”? I dunno, but because I am in those groups photos posted into them show up in my timeline and some of them make me shake my head.
One of the things that make my feathers ruffle though is when I see people post a bird photo and call it a “seagull” because there is no such thing as a seagull. If you plan on being a bird photographer you might want to make note of that for the love of all that is birdy.
And yeah, the rest of us bird photographers, birders, birding nerds and ornithologists might just make fun of you if you call these birds “seagull”.
Under just the Genus Larus we have Pacific gull, Belcher’s gull, Olrog’s gull, Black-tailed gull, Heermann’s gull, Mew gull, Ring-billed gull, California gull, Great black-backed gull, Kelp gull, Cape gull, Glaucous-winged gull, Western gull, Yellow-footed gull, Glaucous gull, Iceland gull,
Thayer’s gull, European herring gull, American herring gull, Caspian gull, Yellow-legged gull, East Siberian herring gull, Armenian gull, Slaty-backed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, and Heuglin’s gull.
Not included in any of their names is “seagull”.
Take a look at the world list of gulls here on Wikipedia and you won’t see a single “seagull”. You can also check guide books and birding apps. Or if you want to stir up a birding group on line call them “seagulls”, I dare ya and please send me a link to the post. 🙂
We said goodbye to Thayer’s gull this year not because they went extinct but because they were lumped with Iceland gulls. Some folks were upset by that lump.
Yeah, I know non-birding people call them seagulls but not all gulls live by the sea and even those that do live by the sea are not seagulls.
It’s just wrong I tell you and so will every knowledgeable birder, bird nerd, biologist, ornithologist and bird photographer. Some of them, I won’t name who, will go into great depth while telling you why.
I’m just poking a little fun at people who call these birds seagulls instead of gulls and I had fun adding the stick arms, signs and speech bubbles to my gull photos to get my point across. My sons used to tell me I had an odd sense of humor and maybe I do but if this post stops one person from calling gulls “seagulls” it was well worth it for the love of all that is birdy.
Life is good.