By Jan Baumgartner
This member of the gull and tern family sports a yellow bill with a narrow black
racing stripe of sorts. Although the ring-billed gull has a reputation for chillaxing
with Siesta Key’s devoted sun-worshippers, it can swiftly snatch up a dropped
potato chip in the blink of an eye! An agile flyer, the ring-billed gull’s natural diet includes fish skimmed in flight from the warm gulf waters surrounding the Key.
Thanks to a built-in compass guiding its annual migration, this gull — like so many
Siesta Key vacationers — finds its way back to the same nesting place year after year. From Siesta Beach, this fine specimen seems to gaze contemplatively into the setting sun just above the gulf horizon.
Jan Baumgartner’s handmade notecards are available at BLVD Beachwear, 5239 Ocean Blvd., and Shelly’s Gift and Christmas Boutique, 4420 S. Tamiami Tr.