Parasitic Jaegers – Daytona Beach Shores

Alex LamoreauxBird Sightings, Birding, birds in flight, Photography, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

While scanning through the incredibly massive gull flock at Daytona Beach Shores with Anna recently, we were fortunate enough to see multiple Parasitic Jaegers come in and take advantage of all the gulls in the area. The jaegers were lured in with all the commotion the gulls were causing, both on the beach and over the water. Every few minutes, we would see a jaeger fly past us, hot on the heals of a Laughing Gull or a Ring-billed Gull. Most of the time, the jaegers would fly no closer than about 200 ft of the beach, but at one point I looked over and saw a jaeger coming straight into the beach and it appeared like it would pass right over my head, if it stayed on its current course – a few seconds later and, amazingly, the bird flew low right over me! Here are a few photos I took of the Parasitic Jaegers harassing gulls. Although Pomarine Jaeger should be more common this time of the year along the Florida coast, we did not see any of that species for certain – their were a few jaegers that we saw way out in the distance that we didn’t feel totally confident IDing that may have been Pomarines.

Parasitic Jaeger - flying just out from the beach (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Parasitic Jaeger - flying just out from the beach (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Parasitic Jaeger closing in on a Laughing Gull (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Parasitic Jaeger closing in on a Laughing Gull (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Parasitic Jaeger just after it dove at the Ring-billed Gull (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Parasitic Jaeger flying over the beach, right over my head! (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Laughing Gull - the main target of the Parasitic Jaegers (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)