01 March 2023

February 2023 Quiz


Oregon. January.

Age: The rather plain wing coverts and tertials, and adult-like gray scapulars suggest a 2nd cycle individual of a large, four-cycle species.

Identification: The blob-tipped bill and smudgy head immediately evoke thoughts of Glaucous-winged Gull and Western Gull. Overall the wing coverts and primaries seem a tad too dark for Glaucous-winged, and too pale for Western (especially the pale-edged primaries, for example). Given the location, it is reasonable to assign this individual to the Olympic Gull hybrid swarm. 

Several responses this month insisted on "pure" Glaucous-winged, reinforcing the subjectivity of identifying this species. Although it may be one, the primaries appear too dark to comfortably dismiss a hybrid.