During my morning trip to the nearby Lake Balboa, the sun was shining and the place was alive with birds of all sorts: Red-wing Blackbirds, American Coots, House Finches, Mallards, Sparrows, Grackles, you get the idea.

They are all hungry for food, most find their own breakfast, but some birds are really aggressive and pandering to get handouts from people— those birds are Ring-Billed Gulls.

beginner birder
While walking around the park I spotted a man and his son feeding a group of hungry gulls. The man tore off a chunk of bread, tossed it straight up, and watched the gulls swoop around trying to catch it with their beaks. The gulls were flying five feet above them and fought over the food mid-flap. Each time a bird caught some bread the kid squealed in delight.

I thought this would be a great photo opportunity, so I walked up next to them, pointed my camera up, and started wildly snapping pictures.beginner birderbeginner birder

BONUS! Here is a slow-mo video I finally got of the gulls a few weeks later (don’t actually do this, I did this before I learned the dangers of feeding bread to birds)

There were a number of other bird species present at the park yesterday. Here are some others we saw.

Clockwise from left:  Black Phoebe, House Sparrow, American Wigeon, Red-winged Blackbird.


 A Ring-billed Gull can be easily identified by looking for the obvious black ring on its bill.beginner birder

This Snowy Egret was ready for a boat adventure on the lake! I saw him sitting in this boat, soaking up the sun.

beginner Birder