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GULL FIGHT, Berkeley Marina

Blog Articles

Blog Articles and Photography by Beth Ann Mathews, Marine Biologist, Sonoma County CA.

GULL FIGHT, Berkeley Marina

Beth Ann Mathews

I was on deck testing some settings on my camera in a light rain, when a squabble between these two caught my attention.


Seconds before, the adult, a Western Gull, was floating on the water when the immature, I believe a Western as well (input welcome), splashed down in front of (I’ll call the adult) her. I did not see evidence of prey in the water or feeding. It appeared the juvenile was minding his own business paddling around three feet in front of the adult: La-de-dah. When he took off, she took chase, as if reprimanding the youngster for some infraction I missed. The dark green hull of the power boat that happened to be across the harbor highlights the birds’ plumage much better than the usual dock clutter (see 2nd photo below taken seconds before).

When I’m at our land home, I rarely step out onto our deck with my camera to scan the horizon. I like how time slows down when we're on the water, and I become more connected to my surroundings, even when we're only tied to the dock.

(Photo 1: Nikon D600, 200 mm lens, 1/1000 sec, f / 3.5, ISO 1600)