29 September 2014

Hatch Year Franklin's: Carlyle, Illinois

We had at least 3 first cycle Franklin's Gulls following our boat on Saturday, 27 September 2014, on Carlyle Lake in southwest Illinois:

Note how the black tail band does not typically extend to the outer rectrices.

This species is very reliable at Carlyle in the Fall, and I'm beginning to get the feeling that hatch year birds are more common here than adults. For the last 4 years, every Franklin's I've seen on the lake has been a hatch year. Perhaps the adults don't partake in following boats and competing for "bread" and "popcorn"?? In general though, I think the majority of the adult population tends to keep west of the Mighty Mississipi River while on their southbound migration...