Greater Black-backed Gull
Greater Black-backed Gull 52kB
Greater Black-backed Gull 77kB
Long Island, August 1997
Herring Gull 126kB
Damariscotta Falls, Maine, April 1998.
Herring Gull 399kB
Long Island, September 1999.
Heh-heh-heh, YOW, heh-heh-heh, etc. 196kB MP3 file
Long Island, April 2004.
Immature Herring Gull begging 53kB
Long Island, August 1997.
Feeding vocalizations. At low tide Ring-billed Gulls mass at the shoreline, standing in one or two inches of water and treading the bottom, presumably to stir up food (they peck at the water from time to time). There is a lot of squabbling over territory.
Table talk I 129kB
Table talk II 143kB
Table talk III 93kB
Long Island, January 1999
Heh-heh 16 kB
Hah-hah-hah, hooh-hooh, hah-hah-hah 80 kB
``A high, long-drawn laugh'' (Chapman) 90 kB
Duet 200 kB
Chatham, Massachusetts, April 2002
"A nasal cheer or cherr" (Peterson) 91Kb MP3 file
Bonaparte's Gull 136Kb MP3 file
Bonaparte's Gull 1305Kb MP3 file (interpolations: Swan take-off, Herring Gull, Western Sandpiper)
Long Island, April 2004
``A vibrant, purring tearrr'' (Chapman) 17kB
Long Island, August 1997.
Courting vocalizations. The courtship scene for Common Terns is somewhere
between the Debutante Cotillion and the Roller Derby. In this instance,
about 100 Terns are standing on a steadily shrinking sand bar. At any one time
five or six are undertaking ritual bathing in the adjacent shallows.
At any one time three or four couples are engaged in the "stand on my back"
phase of courtship. A few fish are served, but it is nothing like the
inflexible protocol of the Little Terns (see below). The two main
tearr, tearr, tearr, ...
(males?) and a rapid
yip, yip, yip, ...
(females?). Here is how they sound
(Least Tern). Courting vocalizations. Little Tern courtship is mediated by fish. Females stand on the beach ("I'm here, I'm here!" 27kB ) keeping their competitors at a distance ("Get away from me, you hussy!" 34kB ). A male flies in with a minnow draped in his beak ("I've got a fish, I've got a fish!" 37kB ) and finds a female who will accept it ("I've got a fish!" "I'm here!" etc. 32kB ). The male flies back out to sea ("Yes yes yes she took my fish!" 58kB ).
Long Island, July and August 1997.
INDEX: Main Bird Page Gulls and Terns Other Shorebirds Geese and Ducks Loons Doves Raptors Owls Kingfishers Quails, Partridges, etc. Cuckoos Woodpeckers Flycatchers Titmics and Nuthatches Wrens Mimic Thrushes Thrushes Vireos Warblers Orioles and Blackbirds Tanagers Swallows Crows and Jays Finches Sparrows Hummingbird Tony's Home Page