[EBB Sightings] gorgeous gull and Sibley eagles

[EBB Sightings] gorgeous gull and Sibley eagles

Debbie Viess
Fri May 06 08:38:00 PDT 2005
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    I finally went to see the Franklin's Gull yesterday, and I was not
    disappointed. What a gorgeous bird. It appeared to be in excellent
    health, and was perched close-by, in perfect light, on one of the long,
    white buoys near the geodesic aviary. The bill appeared to be all red,
    the feet jet black and the legs a dark red-black. Best of all was the
    wash of pink across its chest; no wonder it used to be called the Rosy
    Gull! Since it is primarily insectivorous in its native Midwestern
    range, I wonder what causes the pink coloration? To add to its mystery,
    apparently the pink color fades to a "dead-white" after death. This
    little tidbit was gleaned from "A Natural History of American Birds, of
    Eastern and Central North America", by Edward Howe Forbush and John
    Bichard May, illustrated by Louis Agassiz  Fuertes, Alan Brooks, and a
    fledgling Roger Tory Peterson; it was the Sibley of its day, but with
    the addition of wonderful stories (like Audubon being chased up to his
    neck into a lake by a wing-shot sandhill crane!). 
     
    Later that afternoon, and up in the hills, I serendipitously observed
    (from the vantage point of Huckleberry Preserve), a golden eagle
    suspended in the air near the com towers at Sibley, where it gracefully
    landed. This is a common perch. So, there's still at least one bird
    present, nesting or not.
     
    Debbie Viess
     
    
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    Roman">I finally went to see the = color=3Dnavy>Franklin’s Gull yesterday, and I = was not disappointed. What a gorgeous bird. It appeared to be in excellent = health, and was perched close-by, in perfect light, on one of the long, white buoys = near the geodesic aviary. The bill appeared to be all red, the feet jet black = and the legs a dark red-black. Best of all was the wash of pink across its = chest; no wonder it used to be called the Rosy Gull! Since it is primarily insectivorous in its native Midwestern range, I wonder what causes the = pink coloration? To add to its mystery, apparently the = pink color fades to a “dead-white” after death. This little tidbit was = gleaned from “A Natural History of American Birds, of Eastern and Central = North America”, by Edward Howe Forbush and = John Bichard May, illustrated by Louis Agassiz  Fuertes, Alan Brooks, and a fledgling Roger Tory Peterson; it was the Sibley of = its day, but with the addition of wonderful stories (like Audubon being chased up = to his neck into a lake by a wing-shot sandhill = crane!).

    Roman"> 

    Roman">Later that afternoon, and up in = the hills, I serendipitously observed (from the vantage point of Huckleberry = Preserve), a golden eagle suspended in the air near the com towers at Sibley, where = it gracefully landed. This is a common perch. So, there’s still at = least one bird present, nesting or not.

    Roman"> 

    = face=3D"Times New Roman">Debbie = Viess

    style=3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'> 

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