Mew Gull searches for food on green park lawn

The young Mew Gull walked back and forth across the lawn searching for prey in the green grass (G. Thomas Bancroft)

The young Mew Gull walked back and forth across the lawn searching for prey in the green grass (G. Thomas Bancroft)

The warm weather has really caused lawns to green up and flowers to push through the grass carpet.  A montage of white daisies interspersed the lawn at Matthews Beach Park and gave it an interesting white and green mosaic.  A first-year Mew Gull was busily searching for grubs and insects in the lawn.  It would walk one way and then the next, looking between grass blades and under leaves for possible morsels.  Notice how the wing feathers are light brown and look worn.  The brown wing feathers and brown feathers along the body indicate this individual hatched last summer.  Soon it should be replacing the feathers on its back with gray feathers typical of adults.  They take two full years to attain adult plumage.  Mew Gulls nest north of Puget Sound and breeding individuals should be heading north to Canada and Alaska soon.  Some, possibly this individual, may stay here for the summer and not attempt to nest this year.  These gulls are much smaller than the more common Glaucous-winged Gull.  Note how small and delicate its bill looks and its general smaller size.  Keep your eyes out for Mew Gulls as you walk along the shore in Puget Sound, Lake Washington or other water bodies in the Pacific Northwest.

The Mew Gull turned and looked right at me before resuming its search for food in the grass. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

The Mew Gull turned and looked right at me before resuming its search for food in the grass. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

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