Soaring with the Seagulls

Ring-billed Gulls often hang out on the larger lakes in Minnesota, especially when there are fishermen around. With their long wings and compact bodies, they seem perfectly designed to ride the air currents, while they search the water below.

ring-billed gulls soaring

The gulls on the St. Croix river weren’t diving for fish or pestering the fishermen on this day, but just soaring along the river enjoying the sun and breeze. What could be more fun than to be a bird, able to effortlessly glide through the air?

Ring-billed gulls

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gulls

Even though the gulls weren’t doing a lot of flapping, they were moving rapidly through airspace, and it was tough to keep them in focus.  For these photos, I followed the recommendations of Sparky Stensaas at The PhotoNaturalist blog for shooting fast moving raptors (see “Attracting Hawks with a Feather Duster“), using the Tv setting on my camera, at 1/2000 of a second, f5.6-6.7, ISO at 200.  I can’t find the birds fast enough to focus on them with the 400 mm lens, so I used my 18-270 mm lens instead.

6 thoughts on “Soaring with the Seagulls

    • Thanks, it was an interesting experiment. I really wanted more shots like the last one of a gull against the gold background, but they didn’t seem to cruise that low.

  1. Great job, Sue, with the birds in flight. I know personally how hard it is to get shots that are in focus. I may have to try those settings myself (most of the time my in-flight attempts are unplanned and my settings are not the best).

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