Haggard Juvi Gulls on a Smokey Day

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Wednesday saw a huge amount of smoke blow in from the Black Forest fire in Colorado. The sky turned brown, the sun blood red, and everything fell eerily silent. Not many birds were around Cherry Creek, and those that did stick around had a haggard, sluggish mode. Most of the birds were off shore on a remote sand bar, out of range. A few juvenile gulls, probably simply from lack of knowledge or fear of humans, stuck around on shore, sleeping most of the day away. I think part of their haggardly appearance is due to the fact that they are molting off their baby feathers in trade for their first set of full feathers, which they will probably wear until they migrate south for the winter.

It’s amazing how much just a bit of smoke can dull everything, suck the vibrancy and activity out of life.