This week’s photo, taken October 14, 2014 from the Edmond’s Pier in Edmonds, WA, features an adult non-breeding HEERMANN’S GULL.
Gulls can be notoriously difficult to tell apart, but the HEERMANN’S GULL is an exception. This good-looking gull, with its distinctive gray body and darker wings, easily separates itself from other gulls in the Northwest. The fact that the adult Heermann’s adorns its bill with bright red lipstick (and a dab of black on the tip) seals the identification.
This bird breeds on islands off the west coast of Mexico. Many then spend the summer and fall farther north, sometimes in big numbers in Washington’s Puget Sound. On Tuesday, over 200 Heermann’s Gulls congregated on the rock jetty along Edmond’s waterfront. Before winter begins, most Heermann’s Gulls will be heading south again.
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