01 March 2021

Monthly Notables February 2021

 Sightings:

  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Toronto County, Ontario. 01 February 2021.
  • Western Gull (adult). Davis County, Utah. 02 February 2021.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Lake County, Illinois. 03 February 2021.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Rankin County, Mississippi. 03 February 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Benton County, Washington. 03 February 2021.
  • Franklin's Gull (1st cycle). Del Norte County, California. 05 February 2021.
  • Mew Gull (adult). Suffolk County, New York. 06 February 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Kodiak Island County, Alaska. 07 February 2021.
  • Kumlien's Gull (1st cycle). Monroe County, Indiana. 08 February 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Alameda County, California. 11 February 2021.
  • California Gull (adult). Benton County, Tennessee. 12 February 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). St. John's County, Newfoundland. 12 February 2021.
    • Believed to be a returning bird.
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Chatham County, Georgia. 15 February 2021.
    • 1ST STATE RECORD. Believed to be "the" roaming FL bird.
  • California Gull (adult type). Middlesex County, New Jersey. 15 February 2021.
  • Vega Gull (adult). San Mateo County, California. 15 February 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay County, NL.
    • 3rd record for Labrador.
  • California Gull (adult). Sarasota County, Florida. 20 February 2021.
    • Believed to be a returning bird.
  • Vega Gull (adult). Santa Clara County, California. 21 February 2021.
  • Laughing Gull (adult). McHenry County, Illinois. 24 February 2021.
  • Black-headed Gull (1st cycle). Brevard County, Florida. 23 February 2021.
  • Kamchatka Gull (adult). Nantucket County, Massachusetts. 25 February 2021.
  • Laughing Gull (adult). Cook County, Illinois. 26 February 2021.

February 2021 Quiz

November. Peru.
 

Age: Plumage and bare parts all seem typical of an adult four-year gull. The bright bill and all-white head suggest a bird in alternate plumage in breeding condition. 

Identification: A black-backed species with yellow legs limits our choices to 3 species: Yellow-footed, Lesser Black-backed and Kelp Gull. There is very little contrast between the black wingtip and the black upperparts which hints at the darkest of black-backeds, Kelp Gull. The greenish-yellow legs (in contrast to the orange-yellow bill) also support Kelp over the other two species. The combination of broad wing with thick white trailing edge, decidedly small p10 mirror, clouded iris with apparent red orbital and strong bill all point to an adult Kelp Gull. Given the location, this makes perfect sense. 

31 January 2021

Monthly Notables January 2021

 Sightings:

  • Heermann's Gull (1st cycle). Kitsap County, Washington. 01 January 2021.
  • Laughing Gull (1st cycle). Seneca County, New York. 01 January 2021.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Charles Mix County, South Dakota. 01 January 2021.
  • California Gull (adult). Chambers County, Texas. 02 January 2021.
  • Mew Gull (1st cycle). Taylor County, Texas. 03 January 2021.
  • Laughing Gull (1st cycle). Pope/Yell County, Arkansas. 03 January 2021.
  • California Gull (adult). New Haven County, Connecticut. 03 January 2021.
    • 3rd State Record.
  • California Gull (adult). Sangamon County, Illinois. 03 January 2021.
  • Taimyr Gull (adult). Pictou County, Nova Scotia. 04 January 2021.
    • Presumed taimyrensis*. Unprecedented. Would be the 1st for the Atlantic.
  • Black-headed Gull (2 adults). Cuyahoga County, Ohio. 04 January 2021.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Monroe County, New York. 05 January 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Niagara County, Ontario. 07 January 2021.
  • Franklin's Gull (adult). Hughes County, South Dakota. 07 January 2021.
  • Ivory Gull (6 adults). Nome County, Alaska. 07 January 2021.
  • Little Gull (adult). Lake County, Tennessee. 08 January 2021. 
  • Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Boulder County, Colorado. 09 January 2021.
  • Franklin's Gull (1st cycle). Del Norte County, California. 12 January 2021.
  • California Gull (1st cycle). East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. 12 January 2021.
  • Laughing Gull (1st cycle). Cuyahoga County, Ohio. 14 January 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (1st cycle). San Mateo County, California. 15 January 2021.
  • Laughing Gull (1st cycle). Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. 16 January 2021.
  • Ross's Gull (2nd cycle type). New Haven County, Connecticut. 16 January 2021.
  • California Gull (2nd cycle). Lee County, Iowa. 18 January 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Simcoe County, Ontario. 18 January 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Niagara County, New York. 19 January 2021.
  • Black-headed Gull (adult). Erie County, Pennsylvania. 22 January 2021.
  • Western Gull (adult). Davis County, Utah. 23 January 2021.
  • Little Gull (2nd cycle). Panola County, Mississippi. 23 January 2021.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Clay County, Missouri. 24 January 2021.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Douglas County, Kansas. 24 January 2021.
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Volusia County, Florida. 24 January 2021.
    • Presumably same individual since August 2019.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Tazwell County, Illinois. 24 January 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Marin County, California. 24 January 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Benton County, Washington. 26 January 2021.
  • California Gull (adult). Lorain County, Ohio. 27 January 2021.
  • Common Gull (1st cycle). Kings County, New York. 28 January 2021.
  • Ross's Gull (1st cycle). Lincoln County, Oregon. 30 January 2021.
    • 3rd State Record.
  • Mew Gull (2 adults). Hughes County, South Dakota. 31 January 2021.
Notes: 
1. Angela MacDonald found an adult type taimyrensis in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia on 04 January 2021. A darkish eye, fine streaking restricted to the lower hindneck and a sherbert-orange/yellow leg color support this taxon. Late primary molt is also in favor of this Asian form. P1-P7 new and fully grown, P8 80% grown, P9-P10 retained. P10 with medium to large mirror, P9 with small rounded mirror not reaching the outer web. Black on P7/P8 reaching p-coverts along the outer webs. Full, asymmetric subterminal band on P4, and black mark on outer web of P3 (on right wing). No white tongue tips on P6-P7, with very little slivers of white on inner webs of  P4-P5. The taxonomy on Taimyr Gull is unsettled. Some authorities treat it as a hybrid population between Heuglin's and Vega Gull, others place it with the Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A recently adopted position on this form is that it is a good taxon worthy of species rank.

January 2021 Quiz

 


Washington. January.


Age:
There is no reason to suspect this isn't an adult. On the underwing, we'd be looking for black markings on the tail, hints of dark centers on the secondaries and darker wing linings -- none which are seen here.

Identification: This appears to be a "white-winged" species, lacking black on the underside of the outer wingtip. The ghostly gray remiges, darkerst on the outer 5-6 primaries suggest Glaucous-winged Gull or a Kumlien's type Iceland Gull. The proportions -- long and broad wing, long tail, barrel-chested body, thick neck, and above all, the stout, bulbous-tipped bill -- all support Glaucous-winged Gull. This Glaucous-winged Gull was photographed in the Olympic peninsula region, and is the expected white-winged large gull here.


31 December 2020

Monthly Notables December 2020

 Sightings:

  • California Gull (1st cycle). East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. 01 December 2020.
  • Sabine's Gull (1st cycle). Cuyahoga County, Ohio. 02 December 2020.
  • Black-headed Gull (1st cycle). San Joaquin County, California. 04 December 2020.
  • Laughing Gull (1st cycle). Toronto County, Ontario. 05 December 2020.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Simcoe County, Ontario. 05 December 2020.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult type). Peel County, Ontario. 05 December 2020.
    • Continuing from September 2020.
  • Sabine's Gull (1st cycle). Erie County, New York. 05 December 2020.
  • California Gull (adult). Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. 06 December 2020.
  • Common Gull (1st cycle). Kings County, New York. 07 December 2020.
  • Common Gull (1st cycle). New London County, Connecticut. 09 December 2020.
    • First 1st cycle from the canus complex recorded in the state.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (adult). Keith County, Nebraska. 09 December 2020.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Denton County, Texas. 14 December 2020.
  • Franklin's Gull (1st cycle). Del Norte County, California. 15 December 2020.
  • Mew Gull (adult). Kings County, New York. 16 December 2020.
  • Little Gull (adult). Blount County, Tennessee. 18 December 2020.
  • Glaucous-winged Gull (subadult). Algoma District, Ontario. 18 December 2020.
  • Thayer's Gull (adult). Kenai Peninsula County, Alaska. 19 December 2020.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Niagara County, Ontario. 19 December 2020.
    • Apparently a returning individual from previous years. 
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult). Santa Barbara County, California. 19 December 2020.
  • California Gull (adult). St. Louis County, Minnesota. 20 December 2020.
  • Ivory Gull (1st cycle). St. John's. 21 December 2020.
  • California Gull (adult). Cuyahoga County, Ohio. 21 December 2020.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Niagara County, New York. 22 December 2020.
    • Same individual from Niagara County, Ontario.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult). North Okanagen District, BC. 23 December 2020.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (juvenile). Rankin County, Mississippi. 24 December 2020.
  • Black-headed Gull (adult). Cuyahoga County, Ohio. 27 December 2020.
  • Glaucuos Gull (1st cycle). Gulf County, Florida. 27 December 2020.
  • Black-headed Gull (adult). Lorain County, Ohio. 28 December 2020.
    • A different adult than the previous day in Cuyahoga.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (subadult). Toronto County, Ontario. 28 December 2020.
    • Continuing. Same individual from Peel. Completing DPB.
  • Mew Gull (adult). Tarrant County, Texas. 28 December 2020.
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Palm Beach County, 30 December 2020.
    • Back in PBC 16 months after initial sighting. Undergoing PA2.
  • California Gull (adult). Jefferson County, Wisconsin. 30 December 2020.
  • Sabine's Gull (1st cycle). Lorain County, Ohio. 31 December 2020.


December 2020 Quiz

 

Wisconsin. June.

Age: The primaries are 1st generation, as are the brown median/lesser coverts and tertials. It's also likely the greater coverts are 1st generation, and the different color here is due to a combination of a paler pattern on this tract and wear. The gray scapulars are likely a mix of 1st alternate and formative feathers. Note also hints of a black distal tailband just below the primaries. Thus, we will assume this is a 1st cycle, but May-June is prime time for the start of flight feather molt, and only an open wing would reveal if the 2nd plumage cycle has "formally" commenced. 

Identification: This is a small tern-like gull. The petite bill and short tarsi suggest the smallest of the sternine gulls. The black cap can be found on Bonaparte's at this time of year, but this head pattern, along with the solid brown covert band across the wing panel supports a different species. The black and white saw-tooth pattern on the primaries readily identifies this individual as a Little Gull. 

30 November 2020

Monthly Notables November 2020

 Sightings:

  • California Gull (2nd cycle). Sangamon County, Illinois. 04 November 2020.
    • Continuing from June 2020.
  • Franklin's Gull (adult type). Hancock County, Maine. 05 November 2020.
    • 1st/2nd County Record.
  • Glaucous-winged Gull (1st cycle). Lewis & Clark County, Montana. 05 November 2020.
  • Laughing Gull (1st cycle). Maricopa County, Arizona. 05 November 2020.
  • Little Gull (1st cycle). Bayfield/Ashland County, Wisconsin. 05/08 November 2020.
  • Little Gull (1st cycle). San Luis Obispo County, California. 06 November 2020.
  • Glaucous Gull (1st cycle). Deschutes County, Oregon. 07 November 2020.
    • 1st County Record. 
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Kern County, California. 07 November 2020.
    • 4/5th County Record. First record locally in the Mojave Desert portion of Kern.
  • Laughing Gull (subadult). Branch County, Michigan. 07 November 2020.
    • 1st County Record. 
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (2nd cycle). Larimer/Weld County, Colorado. 11/12 November 2020.
  • Glaucous Gull (1st cycle). Owyhee County, Idaho. 11 November 2020.
  • California Gull (adult). Douglas County, Wisconsin. 14 November 2020. 
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Monterey County, California. 19 November 2020.
  • California Gull (3rd cycle). Brazoria County, Texas. 20 November 202. 
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle type). Washoe County, Nevada. 20 November 2020.
  • Heermann's Gull (3rd cycle). Taylor County, Texas. 21 November 2020.
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Volusia County, Florida. 21 November 2020.
    • Presumably the same waif that has navigated Florida's coasts since August 2019.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (adult). Pueblo County, Colorado. 22 November 2020.
    • Believed to be the same individual returning here for the 27th consecutive winter.
  • Sabine's Gull (1st cycle). Brevard County, Florida. 22 November 2020.
  • Glaucuos-winged Gull (2nd cycle). Dakota County, Minnesota. 22 November 2020.
    • 6th State Record. 2nd County Record.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult type). Peel & Toronto County, Ontario. 07/22 November 2020.
    • Continuing locally since September 2020.
  • Mew Gull (adult). Niagara/Brant County, Ontario. 24 November 2020.
  • Mew Gull (adult). Tarrant County, Texas. 25 November 2020.
  • Mew Gull (adult type). Hamilton County, Ontario. 26 November 2020.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Brainard Ontario. 27 November 2020.
  • Iceland Gull (1st cycle). Stark County, Ohio. 27 November 2020.
    • Apparent nominate glaucoides. 
  • California Gull (adult). Galveston County, Texas. 29 November 2020.

Notes:

  • The adult Great Black-backed Gull that winters in Pueblo County, Colorado returned late this month for the 29th consecutive year. This would constitute a longevity record for the species in North America, but alas, it lives without a leg band. The official longevity record of a known-age Great Black-backed Gull in North America is 26 years 9 months.