On the 3rd of December three Ring-billed Gulls flew over the Museum. In the grand scheme, this is really not a standout moment. Ring-billed Gulls are common in the area during late fall to mid spring and abundant during the winter months at local reservoirs and, during periods of bad weather, mall parking lots. I hadn’t seen one of these gulls over the Museum grounds since last March so it was exciting to add it to the list of bird sightings for the season.
The Ring-billed Gulls that we see in our area are migrants from the north, most likely from the Great Lakes area. They are named for the dark ring around the bill of the adult birds. The ones in the photo at left were on a beach at one of the local reservoirs.
On December 14th, approximately 46 Ring-billed and 3 Herring Gulls flew over in two separate flocks, all heading in the general direction of Falls Lake.
Pine Warblers have been coming to the suet at the Bird Feeder Exhibit in Catch the Wind on a regular basis. Unlike the Myrtle Warblers that migrant to our area for the winter, Pine Warblers are here throughout the year. Since they spend much of their time high up in the pines, the best place to see them is at the bird feeders. The suet feeders are your best bet. However, if you happen to see a group of small birds (Chickadees, Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches …) moving through the trees, take a closer look, you may see a Pine Warbler among them. They’re common on the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop, although not always seen.