01 February 2024

January 2024 Quiz


January. Oregon.
Age: This large white-headed gull shows an overall adult aspect, but with noticeable tail markings, brownish-gray wash across the upperwing, streaked primary coverts and an all-dark bill tip, suggesting a 3rd cycle type.

Identification: This is a broad-winged bird with a fairly short hand. The robust bill and large powerful body point to a bulky taxon, ruling out smaller and slimmer taxa found in the West. Given the location, Western and Glaucous-winged Gull should come to mind. The gray upperparts seem too dark for Glaucous-winged, but may fit a paler northern occidentalis Western. However, the outer primaries show a distinctive grayish coloration, and not the jet black expected in Western. This wingtip pattern and color fits perfectly for a Western x Glaucous-winged hybrid, however, and that's what our January Quiz bird was identified as in the field.  

January 2024 Monthly Notables


  • Common Gull (adult)1. Windham County, Connecticut. 01 January 2024.
    • Presumably a returning bird from last winter.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (adult). Duval County, Florida. 01 January 2024.
    • Continuing from Dec 2023.
  • Franklin's Gull (1st cycle). Marion County, Oregon. 01 January 2024.
    • Continuing from Dec 2023.
  • Short-billed Gull (adult)1. Fairfield County, Connecticut. 04 January 2024.
    • Presumably a returning bird first detected last winter. 
  • Laughing Gull (1st cycle). Hughes County, South Dakota. 05 January 2024.
  • Vega Gull (adult). San Mateo County, California. 05 January 2024.
    • Presumably a returning bird for the fourth consecutive winter.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Sudbury County, Ontario. 05 January 2024.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (4th cycle type). Del Norte County, California. 05 January 2024.
  • Franklin's Gull (1st cycle). Horray County, South Carolina. 07 January 2024.
  • Short-billed Gull (1st cycle). Scott County, Iowa. 06 January 2024.
  • Short-billed Gull (1st cycle). Rock Island County, Illinois. 08 January 2024.
    • Same individual from Scott County, Iowa.
  • Common Gull (adult)4. Prince Edward County, Ontario. 08 January 2024.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Benton County, Washington. 09 January 2024.
    • Continuing. 
  • Kumlien's Gull (adult). King County, Washington. 09 January 2024.
  • Little Gull (1st cycle & two ad.). Washington County, Rhode Island. 10-15 January 2024.
  • Little Gull (adult). Monmouth County, New Jersey. 10 January 2024.
  • Black-headed Gull (ad & two 1st cycle). Washington County, Rhode Island. 12 January 2024.
  • Franklin's Gull (adult). St. Louis County, Minnesota. 12 January 2024.
  • Common Gull (adult)4. Lambton County, Ontario. 13 January 2024.
    • Sight record. Reported nominate canus
  • Short-billed Gull (1st cycle). Washoe County, Nevada. 14 January 2024.
  • Kamchatka Gull (adult). Nantucket County, Massachusetts. 18 January 2024.
    • Continuing. 
  • Glaucous-winged Gull (3rd cycle)2. Orange County, New York. 20 January 2024.
    • 2nd State Record*. 
  • Black-headed Gull (ad. & two 1st cycle). Nassau County, New York. 05-19 January 2024.
  • Short-billed Gull (2nd cycle). Chaves County, New Mexico. 20 January 2024.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Toronto County, Ontario. 21 January 2024.
  • Glaucous-winged Gull (adult). Lake County, Illinois. 22 January 2024.
  • Franklin's Gull (adult). Del Norte County, California. 23 January 2024.
  • Black-headed Gull (adult). Lexington County, South Carolina. 25 January 2024.
  • California Gull (adult). Will County, Illinois. 27 January 2024.
  • Heermann's Gull (5th cycle/ad.). Volusia County, Florida. 23 January 2024.
    • Continuing Atlantic Coast bird.
  • Yellow-footed Gull (3rd cycle). Clark County, Nevada. 24 January 2024.
    • Continuing. 
  • Kamchatka Gull (adult). Essex County, Massachusetts. 26 January 2024.
    • An individual with 13 primaries on the right wing.
  • Short-billed Gull (1st cycle). Mohave County, Arizona. 27 January 2024.
  • Thayer's Gull (3 ads.)5. Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. 29 January 2024.
  • Short-billed Gull (1st cycle). Madison County, Illinois. 29 January 2024.
  • Short-billed Gull (1st cycle). St. Charles County, Missouri. 30 January 2024.
    • 3rd State Record. Same individual from Madison County, Illinois.
  • Kamchatka Gull (adult)1. Fairfield County, Connecticut. 30 January 2024.
    • Continuing. 
  • Yellow-footed Gull (1st cycle). Randall County, Texas. 30 January 2024.
    • Continuing 1st State Record. 
  • Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). North Okanagan District, B.C. 30 January 2024.
    • Continuing from last month.


1. Connecticut saw another trifecta of adult Common, Kamchatka and Short-billed Gull this month, with all 3 individuals believed to be returning from at least last winter (2022-2023).

2.The 3rd cycle Glaucous-winged Gull found in Orange County, NY may very well be a returning individual from March 2023 (then a 2nd cycle; Bronx County, NY). Bill structure, overall build and age sequence makes this a very likely scenario. These two would constitute 1st and 2nd state records, consecutively, if accepted.

3. January saw an above average "smattering" of Black-headed Gull sightings dotted throughout the Atlantic coast, from New Hampshire down to South Carolina. 

4. Two Common Gulls from Ontario (presumably nominate canus) is noteworthy. 

5. Thanks to the efforts of Alix d'Entremont, southwest Nova Scotia is now consistently recording Thayer's Gulls. Albeit in small numbers, this becomes the farthest east that the taxon can be expected annually now, which begs the question, might there be more throughout the Atlantic Provinces. 

6. Finally, the frequency of Lesser Black-backed Gull reports throughout the interior has become overwhelmingly high. Moving forward, Monthly Notable mentions will be limited to high counts and/or early/late records.