02 April 2022

March 2022 Quiz

July. Massachusetts. 

Age: Both birds appear to have old, faded juvenile primaries. Note the absence of p6/p7, thus they're actively molting primaries, as well as tertials and wing coverts. This "complete molt" is the 2nd prebasic molt and so we can safely say these birds are in their 2nd (molt) cycle. 

Identification: A nice size comparison of two species frequently seen together on the Atlantic. The individual on the left has a mostly black bill, contrasting white head and solid, dark upperparts. It also appears slimmer and decidedly smaller. It is a rather standard 2nd cycle Lesser Black-backed. The blocky-headed gull on the right, with nondescript upperparts and relatively large paling bill is "just" a Herring Gull. The retained primaries and tertials have bleached significantly, but this is rather typical for a July bird. 

March 2022 Monthly Notables


  • Kamchatka Gull (adult). Fairfield County, Connecticut. 02 March 2022.
  • Glaucous Gull (1st cycle). Sierra County, New Mexico. 02 March 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult). Clallam County, Washington. 03 March 2022.
  • California Gull (2 adults). Dare County, North Carolina. 04 March 2022.
  • Glaucous-winged Gull (2nd cycle). Flathead County, Montana. 08 March 2022.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Keith County, Nebraska. 10 March 2022.
  • Common Gull (adult). Washington County, Rhode Island. 11 March 2022.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Baldwin County, Alabama. 12 March 2022.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (2nd cycle). Contra County, California. 15 March 2022.
  • Little Gull (adult). Franklin County, Ohio. 15 March 2022.
  • Heermann's Gull (1st cycle). Hopewell County, Virginia. 16 March 2022.
    • Continuing 1st cycle from August 2021.
  • California Gull (1st cycle). Volusia County, Florida. 17 March 2022.
  • Vega Gull (adult). San Mateo County, California. 18 March 2022.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (3rd cycle). Fairfield County, Connecticut. 18 March 2022.
    • 3rd State Record.
  • Short-billed Gull (adult). Fairfield County, Connecticut. 20 March 2022.
    • 2nd State Record. 
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Monroe County, Michigan. 20 March 2022.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Larimer County, Colorado. 20 March 2022.
    • 3rd? State Record.
  • Sabine's Gull (adult). Clatsop County, Oregon. 23 March 2022.
  • California Gull (adult). Erie County, Pennsylvania. 25 March 2022.
  • Short-billed Gull (adult). Lancaster County, Nebraska. 26 March 2022.
  • Yellow-footed Gull (1st cycle). Clark County, Nevada. 26 March 2022.
    • 2nd State Record. Presumably same individual from Lake Havasu (CA/AZ).
  • Little Gull (adult). Columbia County, Wisconsin. 27 March 2022.
  • Short-billed Gull (1st cycle). Stanley County, South Dakota. 27 March 2022.
  • Black-headed Gull (adult). Clermont County, Ohio. 30 March 2022.
    • 1st state record away from Lake Erie.
  • Heermann's Gull (1st cycle). Baltimore County, Maryland. 31 March 2022.
    • 1ST STATE RECORD. Presumably the Hopewell County, VA bird.