01 June 2023

May 2023 Monthly Notables


  • Black-tailed Gull (adult type). Capital District, British Columbia. 02 May 2023.
  • Franklin's Gull (adult). Sunbury County, New Brunswick. 02 May 2023.
  • Short-billed Gull (1st cycle). Tarrant County, Texas. 02 May 2023.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (7 adults). Washington County, New York. 03 May 2023.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Erie County, Pennsylvania. 05 May 2023.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (8: 7 ad., 1st cycle). Litchfield County, Connecticut. 08 May 2023.
    • Unprecedented inland record.
  • Little Gull (adult). Lucas County, Ohio. 09 May 2023.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (adult). Essex County, Ontario. 09 May 2023.
  • Heermann's Gull (4th cycle). Dare County, North Carolina. 09-22 May 2023.
    • Atlantic Coast bird.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). Mohave County, Arizona. 12 May 2023.
  • California Gull (1st cycle). Cook County, Illinois. 13 May 2023.
    • Continuing from April 2023.
  • Black-headed Gull (1st cycle). Toronto County, Ontario. 13 May 2023.
  • Black-headed Gull (adult). Aleutians West County, Alaska. 13 May 2023.
    • St. Paul Island.
  • Sabine's Gull (adult). El Paso County, Colorado. 14 May 2023.
  • Laughing Gull (adult). Grays Harbor County, Washington. 17 May 2023.
  • Laughing Gull (1st cycle). Pacific County, Washington. 18 May 2023.
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle type). Wayne County, New York. 19 May 2023.
    • 1st State Record. Same individual found in Lorain, Ohio; April 2023.
  • Laughing Gull (adult). Clatsop County, Oregon. 25 May 2023.
    • Same individual found in Grays Harbor County, WA.
  • Black-tailed Gull (adult). Yakutat County, Alaska. 29 May 2023.
  • Ross's Gull (adult). Douglas County, Wisconsin. 31 May 2023.
    • 3rd State Record.
  • Ross's Gull (adult). St. Louis County, Minnesota. 31 May 2023.
    • 5th State Record. Same individual from Douglas County, WI.

1. New York got its 1st state record Heermann's Gull on 19 May 2023. A 2nd cycle individual was found in Wayne County by Jay McGowan. Plumage and time sequence suggest it's the same individual found in Lorain, Ohio in late April 2023, and in all likelihood the Baltimore, Maryland bird.

2. An incursion of inland kittiwakes took place this month, dotting several states throughout the northeast. Most noteworthy were sightings in New York and Connecticut (7 and 8 individuals, respectively). The majority of these individuals were adults flocking together, suggesting they were blown inland during migration.

3. To close out the month, Peder Svingen found an adult Ross's Gull off Wisconsin Point on Lake Superior. The bird drifted into Minnesota waters making it a wonderful two-fer. This sighting bolsters a precedence for Ross's Gulls found inland in May/early June. 

May 2023 Quiz


December. Michigan.

Age: The mottled brown aspect with pointed primary tips suggest a straightforward 1st cycle of a large four-year species. Almost all of the scapulars are post-juvenile feathers. As a side note, several inner wing coverts have been replaced which typically isn't expected in the 1st prealternate molt of this species.

Identification: The diffuse bill pattern, smudged neck and sides, and apparent dark tail seem fairly typical of American Herring. The secondary coverts, especially the greater coverts, seem more neatly barred than usual for smithsonianus, but not out of range. Our December bird, banded as a rehab hatch year, is indeed a 1st cycle American Herring Gull. The link below gives some life history on this individual, including an open wing photo:

Anything Larus: A Good Story: Rescued 1st Cycle Herring Resighted