02 April 2023

March 2023 Quiz


California. January.

Age: Juvenile-like flight feathers (especially the primaries) with overall brown aspect and black bill suggest 1st cycle.

Identification: This large chocolaty 1st cycle shows a swollen bill tip (bulbous-tipped), smooth brown pattern on the body, deep keel and broad wings. American Herring and Western Gull come to mind, and given the bill structure, relatively small eye placed high on a large face, and dark inner primaries, there is much going for Western. Note the distinct white trailing edge to the secondaries. This is regularly found in Western Gull, and not expected in American Herring. The broad line of pale notching along the greater covert tips also supports Western Gull, which this is.