Restart Bird Identification Expert

What was the primary COLOR of the Gull-like bird you saw in Pennsylvania?



Northern Fulmar Light Morph: This large gull-like bird has gray upperparts and white underparts, head, neck, and tail. Dark morph has uniformly dark gray body and paler primaries. It has a short, thick yellow bill with a tube on top. Feeds mainly on fish, squid and zoo plankton. Flight alternates stiff wing beats with periods of gliding and banking. Sexes are similar.
Black-capped Petrel: Large petrel with white underparts, dark brown to black back and upper wings, black cap, and white collar (this field mark is missing in some birds). Tail is long, dark, and wedge-shaped; underwings show broad dark margins. Hooked bill is dark, legs are pink. High arcing flight.
Cory's Shearwater: Large gray-brown shearwater, white underparts, pale yellow bill. Feeds at night on crustaceans and large sqiud it takes from the surface. Best identified by its relatively slow, languid flight compared to other shearwaters. Wings held downward. Soars on fixed wings if wind is up.
Great Shearwater: Large shearwater, scaled, gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, brown markings on belly. Dark cap contrasts with white face. Tail is dark above with conspicuous white rump band and gray below. Dark, hooked bill. Pink legs, feet. Flies on deep wing beats followed by long glide.
Leach's Storm-Petrel: This medium-sized petrel has a dark brown body and a white rump and under tail feathers. The wings are dark with a pale gray-brown bar on the upper wings. It has a long, dark forked tail, and a black bill, legs and feet. Its flight is bounding and erratic with frequent changes of direction and speed. It mainly feeds on fish, squid and shrimp. Sexes are similar.
White-tailed Tropicbird: This large white bird has a long black bar on upperwing coverts and outer primaries, black loral mask which extends through and past the eye, yellow-orange bill, white tail streamers, yellow legs and feet and black webbed toes. Feeds on fish and squid. Buoyant, graceful pigeon like flight with fluttering wing strokes alternating with soaring glides. Sexes are similar.
Magnificent Frigatebird: Large black seabird, orange throat patch inflates into a huge bright red-orange balloon when in courtship display. Long bill is gray, hooked. Wings are long and narrow. Tail is forked; legs and feet are dark gray. Eats fish, crustaceans, jellyfish. High soaring flight.
Northern Gannet: Very large seabird. White overall with black primaries and long pointed wings. Light yellow wash on crown of head extending down nape may be visible. Bill, legs, and feet are gray. Dives for fish and squid. Alternates rapid wing beats with short glides. Soars to great heights.
Black-legged Kittiwake: This is a medium-sized white gull with pale gray back and upperwings and black wing tips. The bill is yellow and the legs and feet are black. It has a swift, graceful flight, alternating several rapid shallow wing beats with a glide. Hovers over water before diving for prey at the surface. It feeds on marine invertebrates, plankton and fish. The sexes look very similar.
Sabine's Gull: Small gull with gray back and white nape, rump, and underparts. Hood is solid black and eye-ring is dark red. Bill is black with yellow tip; legs and feet are black. The upperwings are gray with black primaries and white secondaries. Tail is slightly forked when folded.
Little Gull: The smallest of all gulls, with pale gray upperparts and white nape, neck, breast, belly, and tail. Hood is black and extends onto upper neck. Underwings are dark. Bill is dark red with black tip. Legs and feet are red-orange. Strong direct flight with deep wing beats.
Bonaparte's Gull: This is a medium-sized gull with a black head and bill, gray back and wings and white underparts and tail. White outer primaries with black trailing edges are visible in flight. The legs are red-orange. It catches fish by wading and diving. It has a light and direct flight with rapid wing beats. It feeds mainly on insects, which it catches in mid-flight. The sexes are similar.
Black-headed Gull: This medium-sized gull has a pale gray back and upper wings and a dark brown face and partial hood. The nape, neck, breast, belly and tail are white, and the bill and legs are dark red. It engages in a flight pattern called a dread, which is part of a process of minimizing risk. Buoyant direct flight. Feeds on worms, invertebrates, carrion and fish. Sexes are similar.
Ross's Gull: The pink gull of the high Arctic. Small gull, pale gray upperparts, gray-white nape, white neck with thin black collar, and white, wedge-shaped tail; underparts are variably pink. Black bill is very short; legs, feet are orange-red. Often feeds on mudflats like a wader.
Franklin's Gull: This medium-sized gull has a gray back and white underparts. It has a black head, white eye ring, orange bill with a black spot near the tip, and red-orange legs. The wings are short with white spotted black tips. It has a strong direct flight with deep wing beats. It feeds mostly on terrestrial and aquatic insects. The sexes similar; males are slightly larger.
Laughing Gull: This medium-sized gull has a gray back, white underparts and neck, a black hood and red bill. The wings are gray and white-edged, and black at the tips; tail is white. The legs and feet are black. Diet includes insects, fish, shellfish and crabs. It has a slow flight with deep wing beats and soars on updrafts. It is named for its laughter like call. Sexes are similar.
Mew Gull: Medium-sized gull with gray back and upperwings, and white head, neck, breast, and belly. Bill is bright yellow. Wings have white-spotted black tips; tail is white. Feet and legs are dull yellow. Graceful, bouyant flight. Undulating, with several rapid wingbeats and a pause.
Ring-billed Gull: This medium-sized gull has gray upperparts and white underparts. It has a white head and yellow bill with a black ring near the tip. The wings are gray above, tipped black with white spots, and white below; yellow legs and feet. It has a strong direct flight on deep wing beats and soars on thermals. The sexes are similar.
California Gull: This is a medium-sized gull with a white head and underparts, gray wings and black wing tips. The bill and legs are yellow, and it has a red eyering. It has a strong direct flight with deep wing beats. It feeds on worms, mice, other birds and their eggs and garbage. The sexes are similar, but the males are usually larger than females, with a larger bill, head and tarsi.
Herring Gull: This large gull has a pale gray back, black-tipped wings, a white head, neck, breast, tail and underparts. The bill is yellow with a red spot near the tip; legs are pink. Diet includes marine invertebrates, fish and insects. It has a strong steady flight with deep wing beats and soars on thermals and updrafts. The males are larger than females; the sexes have similar plumage.
Iceland Gull: Large, white gull, pale, pearl-gray back and upper wings. Bill is yellow, red spot at tip of lower mandible. Wing tips sometimes marked with pale to dark gray. White tail; legs and feet are pink. Direct flight with strong deep wing beats. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
Thayer's Gull: Large gull, gray upperparts, white head, tail, underparts. Bill is yellow with red spot near the end of the lower mandible. Wings are gray with white-spotted, dark gray tips. Legs are dark pink. Direct flight, strong, steady wing beats, soars on thermals or updrafts.
Glaucous Gull: This large white gull has a pale gray back and yellow eyes. The bill is yellow with a red spot on the lower mandible. The wings are white-edged and white tipped and the legs and feet are pink. It is an active predator of seabird nesting colonies. Diet includes fish, insects and birds. It has slow steady wing beats and soars on thermals and updrafts. The sexes are similar.
Lesser Black-backed Gull: Medium-sized gull with dark gray back and wings. Head, neck and underparts are white. Rump and tail are white. Bill is yellow with red spot near tip. The wings have dark tips with white spots; legs and feet are yellow. Eyes are yellow with red orbital rings.
Great Black-backed Gull: World's largest gull. White head, black upperparts, white underparts, large yellow bill with red spot on lower mandible, pale-eyed with red orbital ring, pink legs, feet. Flight is direct and powerful with deep, slow wing beats. Soars on thermals or updrafts.
Bridled Tern: Medium pelagic tern. Black crown, nape separated from gray-brown upperparts by whitish collar. Chevron-shaped white forehead patch extends behind eye. Long pointed wings and deeply forked tail. Whitish underparts; underwings have brown trailing edge. Black bill, legs.
Sooty Tern: This medium-sized tern has long wings, a deeply forked tail, black crown, nape, and upperparts and a broad triangular white forehead patch. The underparts are white; upper tail is black with white outer edges. It has a direct flight with strong, shallow wing beats. It hovers before dipping for prey. It feeds on squid and fish. Sexes are similar.
Least Tern: This small tern has slate-gray upperparts, white underparts; crown and nape are black, and the forehead is white. Black leading edge of outer wing is conspicuous in flight. The tail is forked, and the bill and feet are yellow. It feeds on small fish and invertebrates. It has a fast smooth flight with rapid wing beats. Hovers briefly before dipping down to seize prey. Sexes are similar.
Black Tern: This small tern has a black head, bill and underparts. The back, wings and tail are silver-gray, and the vent is white. The legs and feet are dark red but may appear black. It has a buoyant, direct flight with deep rapid wing beats. It hovers for insects in an uneven foraging flight. It plunge dives on occasion. The sexes appear similar.
White-winged Tern: Small tern, black head, body, and underwing coverts; white rump, vent, upperwing coverts, and tail; flight feathers are pale gray. Bill is dark red to black; Red legs and feet. Fluttering, uneven flight with slow, shallow wing beats. Hovers before dipping for prey.
Common Tern: This medium-sized tern has medium gray upperparts, pale gray underparts and a glossy black cap and nape. The wings are dark-tipped with a dark leading edge on the forewing. The red bill is black-tipped, legs are red, and the tail is deeply forked and elongated. It has a direct flight, hovering above water before diving for prey. Feeds mainly on small marine fish. Sexes are similar.
Arctic Tern: This is a medium-sized, slim tern with gray upperparts, black cap, a white rump and throat, and pale gray underparts. The tail is deeply forked and white with dark edged outer feathers. The bill is dark red. The legs and feet are red. It has a buoyant, graceful flight with steady wing beats. It feeds on small fish, crustaceans and insects. Both sexes are similar in appearance.
Forster's Tern: Medium tern, pale gray upperparts, black cap, white underparts. Bill is orange, black tip. Wings are pale gray with paler primaries. Tail is pale gray, deeply forked with dark inner edge, white outer edge. Orange legs, feet. Hovers above water before diving for prey.
Roseate Tern: White below with slight, variable pinkish cast visible in good light; pale gray above with black cap, nape and deeply forked tail that projects well beyond wingtips at rest. Bill mostly black with some red at base; legs and feet are red-orange. Graceful, direct flight.
Gull-billed Tern: Lightest North American tern. Black cap that extends below eyes, down nape; pale gray upperparts that are darker at the wingtips; short, stout black bill and black legs, feet; long wings with very long outer primaries. Direct flight with graceful, shallow wing beats.
Sandwich Tern: This is the only medium-sized tern with a long slender black bill tipped with yellow. The upperparts are very pale gray, nearly white, and the underparts are white. The black crown has a short black crest, the white tail is deeply forked, and the legs and feet are black. It has a direct flight and hovers before diving for fish. Sexes are similar.
Caspian Tern: This large stocky tern has pale gray upperparts and white underparts. The cap is black and may appear weakly crested. The large bill is coral-red, the undersides of the primaries are gray, a short white tail is slightly forked, and the legs are black. The flight is strong, swift and graceful. It hovers above water before diving and mainly feeds on fish. The sexes are similar.
Royal Tern: Large tern, pale gray upperparts; white face, neck, and underparts. Head has spiky, black crest and cap, and heavy, bright orange bill. Wings are black-tipped above and black-edged below; tail is deeply forked. Legs and feet are black. Hovers before plunge diving for prey.
Black Skimmer: Odd-looking, tern-like bird with black upperparts and white underparts. Bright red bill with black tip, lower mandible longer than upper. Long, slim wings are dark above and silver-gray below. Tail is white with black central feathers. Legs, feet are red. Direct flight.
Pomarine Jaegar Dark Morph: This large jaeger is dark brown except for white patches near underwing tips and sides of under tail. Light morph has white neck, pale yellow collar, white lower breast, mottled breast band, sides. Thick bill, pale base, two long central feathers twisted vertically on tail. Diet includes fish and small birds. Strong steady flight with deep wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Parasitic Jaegar Dark Morph: This medium-sized jaeger has a brown body, darker cap and pale underwing patches near tips. Pale form has white underparts with brown breast band; intermediates between dark and light morphs occur. Diamond-shaped tail has elongated, pointed central feathers. Black bill, legs and feet. Alternates several deep flaps with glides and fast wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Long-tailed Jaegar: This small diving duck has gray upperparts, white breast, and gray belly. Black cap covers the eyes, crosses chin, and ends at yellow nape. Dark-edged upperwings, gray tail with black edges and long, black streamers, and blue-gray legs. Feeds on lemmings, fish and insects. Tern like airy flight with continuous wing beats, a few glides and numerous dives. Sexes are similar.
 
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