Photo of Herring Seagulls

Photographing Herring Seagulls “Sharing” a Bluegill

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Photographing Two Herring Seagulls

The antics of herring seagulls squabbling over a dead bluegill make for an easy and fun photography shoot. Ā šŸ˜Ž

In the summer, herring seagulls gather everywhere in and around Lake Michigan. These seabirds seem to thrive around humans and consequently, are easy to photograph. One of the few species of birds that will approach me on the beach, gulls are inquisitive, bold, opportunistic and highly social with each other. They come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. As they are adept at flying, hovering, walking and swimming, they do not confine themselves to the water. Most are migratory, although it is not uncommon to see them in Michigan in the winter.

Gull ID is not difficult, even when viewing flocks of them on the beach. See this link for strategies on how best to ID gulls.

Photo of 2 Herring Seagulls
Two Sea Gulls Appear to Share a Bluegill. I Did Not Witness
Which Gull Actually Caught the Bluegill.
ISO 500; f/8.0; 1/2500 second

Sequence of Photos Showing Seagulls Eating a Bluegill

I found these two herring seagulls squabbling over a dead bluegill on a local boat launch. The pale yellow eyes and thick orange, hooked bills (with a spot of red at its tip) make these birds appear quite comical. Add to that the pink legs and web feet holding up a ratherĀ large and barrel chested body andĀ you wonder how they look so elegant when in flight.

These photos tell a story. In the beginning (during the peaceful time), eyes and blood rich gills were shared equally between the dining gulls. It didn’t take long beforeĀ the sharing was abandoned and raucous squabbling and tugging over the bluegill meal ensued.

Seagulls2 NMcKown

Photo of 2 Sea gulls Eating
The Herring Seagulls are Still Cooperatively Sharing the Bluegill.
ISO 640; f/9.0; 1/2500 Second
seagull3 NMcKown
Soon it Turned into a Tug of War.
ISO 400; f/9.0; 1/2500 Second.
Photo of Seagulls Eating Bluegill
The Winner! – At least for a While.
ISO 400; f/8.0; 1/2500 Second

All Good Things Must End

This sequence of events took about five minutes. Eventually, one of the gulls grabbed the remains of the carcass and flew off with it, leaving the other gull on the boat dock wondering what happened.

A friend suggested that the seagull tug of war photo would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day card next year. I think she’s right.

 

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