01 April 2021

Monthly Notables March 2021

Sightings:

  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Chatham County, Georgia. 01 March 2021.
    Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Chautauqua County, New York. 01 March 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (3rd cycle). Halifax County, Nova Scotia. 01 March 2021.
    • 3rd Province Record. 
  • Mew Gull (2nd cycle type). Washoe County, Nevada. 02 March 2021.
  • California Gull (subadult). Virginia Beach County, Virginia. 03 March 2021.
  • Mew Gull (1st cycle). Kings County, New York. 04 March 2021.
    • Continuing from previous month.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (3rd cycle). Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska.06 March 2021.
  • Bonaparte's Gull (1st cycle). Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska. 06 March 2021.
  • Laughing Gull (2nd cycle). Marin County, California. 02 March 2021.
  • Ross's Gull (adult). Bethel County, Alaska. 09 March 2021.
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Volusia County, Florida. 09 March 2021.
  • Glaucous Gull (1st cycle). Union County, New Jersey. 10 March 2021.
  • Ivory Gull (15 individuals). Northern Peninsula-St. Anthony County, NL. 11 March 2021.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Canadian County, Oklahoma. 12 March 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Kodiak Island County, Alaska. 13 March 2021.
  • Laughing Gull (adult). Barton County, Nebraska. 14 March 2021.
  • California Gull (1st cycle). East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. 14 March 2021.
  • California Gull (adult). Dare County, North Carolina. 18 March 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (3rd cycle). Comox-Strathcona District, British Columbia. 18 March 2021.
  • Little Gull (1st cycle & adult). Gibson County, Indiana. 20 March 2021.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (adult). Larimer County, Colorado. 22 March 2021.
  • Vega Gull (adult). Santa Clara County, California. 22 March 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (1st cycle). Comax, British Columbia. 22 March 2021.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Saskatoon County, Saskatchewan. 25 March 2021.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Ashland County, Wisconsin. 26 March 2021.
  • California Gull (adult). New Haven County, Connecticut. 27 March 2021.

Notes:
  1. Earlier this month, Chuck Slusarczyk Jr reported a banded Ring-billed Gull from Cleveland that he submitted to the Bird Banding Lab in January of 2021. The USGS BBL confirmed with him that this individual was banded as a flightless chick in Toronto on 18 June 1992, putting it at 28 years 9 months old. According to the BBL, this sets a new longevity record for the species (the previous being 27 years, 6 months). Band number: 0785-64995.


31 March 2021

March 2021 Quiz

 

Washington. January.

Age: Adult.

Identification: The upperparts appear to be a medium gray, noticeably paler than Western Gull, but darker than Herring Gull. The upperside of the wingtip is short of being a true black, suggesting a hybrid between a species with a black wingtip and a paler wingtip. Glaucous-winged influence immediately comes to mind. The gray underside to the wingtip also suggests a four year hybrid. This is a large, thick-billed bird with dark eye and very smudgy head markings. Given the slightly darker gray upperparts, we can be confident this isn't a Herring x Glaucous-winged. Western x Glaucous-winged makes more sense and that's what it was identified as in the field. 

Another image below. The pinkish orbital ring and dark eye is typical of Glaucous-winged. The stocky, bulbous-tipped bill, smudgy head markings and medium gray upperparts are typical of this hybrid combination. Note the less than black primaries here.


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.