Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Starry Flounder

On 16 March 2020, Erika and I found a gull munching on a flatfish. Note that the eyes are displaced on one side of the head, so the fish can see while it lies on the bottom of sea. I thought it looked like a Rock Sole, but Dennis Paulson wrote me that it is more likely to be a Starry Flounder. One reason is that the eyes are on the left side of the fish’s head. Unlike the Starry Flounder, most of Washingtons flatfish havc their eyes on their right side. Starry Flounders are common in Washington waters and are usually found near shore, often entering brackish or freshwater (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife). This flounder lay dead some distance up Macalister Creek in the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The gull is also interesting. Its white eye suggests it may be a Herring Gull, but it is more likely a Western Gull or a Western x Glaucous Gull hybrid, which is abundant in the Puget Sound.

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