California Gull Bathing (Photo of the week)

Flapping its wings repeatedly, a california gull dries its feathers after submerging its body in water.

This shot was taking a couple of weeks ago while shooting some of the bay area’s more common inhabitants. I was watching various gulls and mallards, mostly acting boring and just standing around. But this California Gull decided to jump into the water and put on a show. He would submerge his entire body under water, then pop up and flap his wings back and forth to dry his feathers and prepare for preening. After preening for about 30 seconds, he’d dive back in and start all over again. This repeated for about ten minutes. The photo below is another shot of this lively bird.

Not until the wings are fully extended can one appreciate the surface area required to keep these birds aloft.