31 August 2022

August 2022 Quiz


January. Washington. 

Age: Overall, both individuals appear to be adult type four-cycle gulls. The smaller apicals in mid-winter are not due to wear, and suggest younger adults. Zooming in, both individuals show dark markings on the primary coverts (just below the outer secondaries) which confirms the suspicion of not-quite-adult birds.

Identification: Pink-legged large white-headed gulls, with strong bills that appear somewhat bulbous, immediately evokes thoughts of Western Gull. The gray upperparts may be within range for northern occidentalis, but the smudgy head pattern is much more expected in hybrid Glaucous-winged x Westerns. Also, looking closely at the primaries -- especially on the individual on the right -- we find they're not quite pure black which is typical of this hybrid. Thus, both birds have enough oddities to comfortably be labeled hybrid Glaucous-winged x Westerns (so-called Olympic Gulls).