|The great black-backed gull, Larus marinus. Click to enlarge.|
A few weeks ago, just before hurricane Sandy, I spent a day at Brooklyn's Coney Island. it was not a big day for urban wildlife, but I saw this fine fat Great Black-Backed Gull at the fishing pier. He eyed me as a potential source of snacks, but flew away when I turned out to be wildlife paparazzi.
The great black-backed gull is easy to identify. It is the largest gull in the world, almost two feet long with a four-foot wingspan. It has a dark grayish-black back, white spots on the tips of the wings, and pink legs. Its bill is yellow with a red dot near the tip. In winter plumage, shown above, it has light dusky streaks on its head.
Coney Island was at its best that day -- hot dogs, cotton candy,
carnival rides, sun, surf, and great black-backed gulls. Here are some
photos. I Hope Coney Island is back on its feet soon.
|The fishing pier. |
The roller coaster.
|Scream Zone! |
|The Wonder Wheel is expected to be back in service for next year's opening. I heard on the news today that rides will be free on opening day, Palm Sunday 2013. |
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