Herring Gulls are one of the most familiar gulls of the East Coast and many people just call them “seagulls.” In fact, some two dozen different species of gulls live in North America, and they present almost endless opportunities for identification.
Not everyone sees vultures as a creepy harbinger of death—many see them as sacred for their cleanup role. Tibetan Buddhists practice “sky burials,” where animals, usually vultures, consume their dead. Similarly, Zoroastrians offer their dead to be consumed by vultures on a raised platform, called a dakhma. They regard vultures are precious animals that release the soul from the body.
The Bald Eagle dwarfs most other raptors, including the Turkey Vulture and Red-tailed Hawk. These regal birds aren’t really bald, but their white-feathered heads gleam in contrast to their chocolate-brown body and wings. The picture of this Bald Eagle in flight was taken at the State Line Lookout on the Palisades in New Jersey.
This interesting closeup of this Ring-billed Gull was taken at Stuyvesant Cove on the East River in Manhattan. Ring-billed Gulls in many cases will winter at the same location every year and there are many Ring-billed Gulls that visit Stuyvesant Cove during the winter. It has become one of my favorite locations to photograph Gulls and this year cormorants.