Gulls are the most commonly seen wildlife on the East Coast Trail, you are likely to spot at least one of these three types on any hike:

Herring Gull - Father Troy's Trail

Herring Gull – Father Troy’s Trail

The Herring Gull is the most vocal of the three, it is quick to complain when you approach a nest site, even when that nest site is hidden from view and far below the trail. As a result, a coastal hike in June is usually accompanied by one of these gulls, because it is keeping an eye on you.

Great Black-backed Gull - Father Troy's Trail

Great Black-backed Gull – Father Troy’s Trail

The Great Black-backed Gull is bigger than the Herring Gull, but less numerous. As is usually the case with bigger birds, they are more suspicious of hikers than the little guys.

Black-legged Kittiwake - Father Troy's Trail

Black-legged Kittiwake – Father Troy’s Trail

At a glance, the Kittiwake may look similar to the Herring Gull, but it is much smaller. Black legs and eyes set it apart too, and its beak is a paler yellow. These small gulls are more ‘wild’ than the others, as they do not venture into town to hang out at drive-thru restaurants. This individual is carrying nesting material to the colony at Church Cove.