01 June 2024

May 2024 Quiz


England. December.

Age: 1st cycle.

Identification: Our May Quiz looks like a four-cycle species, with a noticeable old-world tail pattern. Observers in North America would expect a Lesser Black-backed to approach this look, but the heavily barred/checkered greater coverts and pale inner primary window point away from that species. Might this be a Great Black-backed? Size and structure, particularly the small head and proportionally small bill, among other things, are wrong for that species.

Given the location, the overall dilute brown upperparts look typical of European Herring Gull, and indeed the dark subterminal spots on the inner primaries, with adjacent white capsules on the outer webs, look "spot on" for that species.