31 December 2020

Monthly Notables December 2020


  • 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.