On our last trip to Indian Rocks Beach to photograph the juvenile Black Skimmers, my dad and I had a blast watching a food fight among some silly laughing gulls. A pair of women brought a loaf of bread out onto the beach and began to feed the birds. I don’t think they had ever done that before, and I don’t know if they will ever do it again. The ladies started out throwing out small single pieces of bread, and one bird at a time would fly in and eat. But you can’t feed gulls at the beach without attracting the attention of other gulls, and pretty soon, a huge flock of birds had amassed around these two ladies. The ladies didn’t know what to do with so much attention! Half a dozen birds would swoop in to grab each piece of bread. The loaf of bread was quickly gone, and the birds weren’t letting the ladies leave. “Feed us! Feed us more!”
I grabbed my intermediate telephoto lens and started to zoom in on the aerial food fights. It was such fun to watch the birds as they dove in mid-air to grab for the bread. I’m amazed that they didn’t all collide. I chuckled when I saw my photos on the computer and saw the hand-off where two birds had each grabbed the bread and were each trying to fly away with it. The victorious bird took it for a victory lap over the ocean waves, and then dropped it! Oh well, such is the life of a Laughing Gull…
Want to learn more about nature photography at Black Skimmer Colony?
Check out my Black Skimmer Colony page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
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