I have been asked many times about the birds that are in the skies of my photographs around Walker Lake, so I decided to write this blog post and dedicate it to that bird, the California Gull.
The California or Inland Gull, Larus californicus, falls in the medium size range, averaging 20 inches (47-54 cm) in length with a wingspan of 51 inches (130 cm). These gulls have striking features with white bodies, black primaries and white tips on grey wings, black tipped yellow bills, yellow feet, and brow eyes.
Found in parking lots and lakes from California to Manitoba, the gulls at Walker Lake do not migrate but remain in this area all year long, except during the breeding season, from May to July when the adults return to their breeding grounds at Mono Lake, California.
Insects are a favorite source of food for the California Gull and that is why they are the official state bird of Utah. The California Gull's appetite for insects saved the Mormon settlers during a plague of crickets and today there is a monument in Salt Lake City commemorating this event, which is known as the Miracle of the Gulls. The diet of California Gulls also includes fish, eggs and just about any food that humans will eat except lettuce and tomatoes!
The California Gulls are also known as the "laughing gull" due to the laughing sound that they make when someone walks by and there might be a handout for food.
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Photographs Make Great Gifts
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With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
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