Spring migration in Iowa is in full swing and new species are showing up daily. The Ring-billed Gulls have been active at Black Hawk Lake Wildlife Management Area in Sac County, IA. They are highly social birds and usually found in large colonies. Apparently, they have not heard of the new social distancing rules. Gulls were constantly landing and taking off, even bumping into one another.
Watching mid-air maneuvers can be quite entertaining. When multiple birds are landing at the same time, these maneuvers are quite important to avoid mid-air collisions.
What one gull has, another one wants. When a gull catches a fish and takes flight, there are usually multiple gulls chasing it. Food piracy is quite common. Many times the gull being chased will drop its meal and the pursuing gulls dive and fight for the prize.
It is easy to practice social distancing while doing wildlife photography. I don’t think there was one person within ¼ – ½ mile of me the last two mornings. Likely, nobody had been in the vicinity for days, maybe weeks. I was hidden in a blind and the bird activity was non-stop.
I hope all of you are practicing social distancing and taking serious measures to stay safe and healthy during these times of the spreading Covid-19 virus.