01 April 2024

March 2024 Quiz

Illinois. October.

Age: The overall plumage aspects of the two big brown jobs suggest 1st cycle. The center bird is an adult-type.

Identification: The adult in the center is a Ring-billed, with what appears to be a chunkier and slightly larger 1st cycle on the left and a slightly smaller gull on the right.

Note the darker brown centers to the upperparts on the individual on the right, showing broader and more consistent pale fringes. The bill appears thinner and jet black, with paler vent region. This is a 1st cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull in complete juvenile plumage. The individual on the left has a deeper chest, a weaker pattern to the coverts and what appear to be replaced juvenile scapulars. It falls squarely in the mold of a 1st cycle American Herring Gull. 

March 2024 Monthly Notables


  1. Kamchatka Gull (adult). Fairfield County, Connecticut. 01 March 2024.
    • Last sighting of the winter season. 
  2. Thayer's Gull (adult). Virginia Beach County, Virginia. 03 March 2024.
  3. Thayer's Gull (1st cycle). Cape May County, New Jersey. 04 March 2024.
  4. GRAY GULL* (3rd cycle type). Baldwin County, Alabama. 14 March 2024.
    • Plumage sequence suggests same individual from Walton County, FL, last seen on 03 December 2023.
  5. Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Cowlitz County, Washington. 08 March 2024.
  6. Vega Gull (adult). San Mateo County, California. 10 March 2024.
  7. Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Multnomah County, Oregon. 11 March 2024.
    • Same individual from Cowlitz County, WA; also seen in Clark on 12 March 2024.
  8. Ivory Gull (adult). North Slope Borough, Alaska. 11 March 2024.
  9. Little Gull (adult). Starr County, Texas. 17 March 2024.
  10. Common Gull (adult). Windham County, Connecticut. 20 March 2024.
  11. Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle). North Okanagan District, British Columbia. 22 March 2024.
    • Continuing since December 2023.
  12. Vega Gull (adult). Tompkins County, New York. 23 March 2024.
    • Likely an individual first detected in this region in mid-December 2023.
  13. Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Anchorage Municipality, Alaska. 25 March 2024.
  14. Black-headed Gull (adult). Contra Costa County, California. 26 March 2024.
  15. Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Alberni-Clayoquot District, British Columbia. 26 March 2024.

* The Florida-Alabama Gray Gull was relocated in Baldwin County, Alabama on 14 March 2024 and continues through 31 March 2024. It appears to be undergoing a 3rd prealternate molt with fresh scapulars and a paling gray head. It is safe to say this bird has adjusted to a boreal molt schedule and should be sporting an all-pale hood in the next few weeks.