28 February 2018

February 2018 Quiz

AGE: The brown wing coverts and black tailband point to a small-ish 1st cycle gull.

IDENTIFICATION: This 1st cycle gull already shows all-gray upper scapulars and gray on the inner median covert. The gray is relatively dark - darker than, say, Bonaparte's. The smudging around the neck and breast recall Franklin's and Laughing Gull. The black bill and black legs are not only species-specific, they're seasonal characteristics in this species. The bill is rather heavy and the outlines of the eye crescents are relatively thin. On Franklin's, the bill appears shorter and thinner, and the head typically keeps a quasi-hood toward the back of the head. Inscribed in this hood are usually much more bolder eye crescents. These marks, along with messy underwing coverts, and black coming all the way out to the outer edges of the outer tail feather, all point directly to a 1st cycle Laughing Gull.

Brevard County, Florida. January.