The Florida ring-billed gull is a medium-sized bird with an all-white head, neck and underside. Their bill is yellow with a black ring around it near the tip. Legs and feet are yellow while backs and wings are gray contrasting with black wingtips with white spots.
It takes this species of the gull family three years to reach adult plumage.
The ring-billed gull eats anything including fish and other marine creatures, small birds, eggs, rodents, worms and garbage. They love to drop into family picnics and can often be seen around waterside restaurants looking for scraps to eat..
The ring-billed gull eats anything including fish and other marine creatures, small birds, eggs, rodents, worms and garbage
They can be a real nuisance if fed. They steal food in an aggressive manner from other birds as well as beach goers.
This gull is often referred to as "the fast food gull" because they target fast food restaurants in scavenging food. A highly social bird they can be seen dropping food in flight before swooping down to catch it again.
Playful and vocal they can be heard easily when in large flocks. They walk quickly and they are good swimmers.
Merry Beth Ryan, a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, can be reached at www.merrybethryanphotography.com, by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone (941) 544-5023.
They can dive in search of prey but not to great depths. They rarely fly alone preferring to flock along the shorelines.
When fishing chumming will attract these birds. If live bait chumming, be careful not to overdo it because these birds will eat the live chum long before it is able to do its job. Over-chumming will give the gulls free food and interrupt fishing hole productivity.
The ring-billed gulls will allow you to get close because they are a curious bird and not frightened by humans.