08 June 2015

Manitowoc Herrings - Early June

I spent time marveling over the Herring Gulls that summer on the Manitowoc lakefront this past weekend. The variation found in sub-adult Herrings never seizes to amaze.

Let's start with this individual with barred upperparts and a lightly marked uppertail pattern:
Manitowoc, WI. 06 June 2015

Whether this tail pattern is within range for American Herring Gulls is still up in the air for many, but I've come to the realization that it's a pattern that's too often found in our HERGs. To continue to suspect that every 1st cycle with a similarly marked tail must be of European or Asian origin is a bit too presumptuous for me. Rather, I'd prefer to widen my accepted range of variability in this taxon's tail and call them American Herrings until proven otherwise. Genetic sampling of these types would be a dream come true. 
Next up: banded gulls. I found 3 banded Herrings this weekend (including an adult type), but unfortunately was only able to record the entire sequence to this 2nd cycle:
Manitowoc, WI. 06 June 2015 Band # 1106-13873
Banded on 24 June 2013. Door County, Wisconsin.
A rather mature bill pattern for a 2-year old.

Finally, of interest is this 3rd cycle type still showing relatively dark eyes: