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Great Gull-y


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#1 Hopsing129

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:20 PM

Some gulls taken near the great lakes. First two of same gull south end of L. Mich at the IN Dunes, black wings with white, black tail, white head

Posted Image

Posted Image

Next two are different birds on L Superior near Ironwood MI. Maybe a Great Black-backed 2nd year

Posted Image

Finally a Herring Gull, juvenile

Posted Image

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2012 List: #240
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#2 psweet

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:47 PM

  • Looks like a Herring Gull -- based on the molt, it doesn't seem to be late enough in the season to be anything else.
  • Very worn 2nd summer Herring Gull, a Great Black-backed would completely dwarf the Ring-bills it's with. (Actually, I think that's a pretty small Herring Gull.)
  • Juvenile Ring-billed. This is a plumage that you don't see for very long, by mid-autumn he'll have molted into first-winter, which looks quite a bit like a 2nd winter Herring Gull.


#3 Grandpa577

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 11:16 PM

"Some gulls taken near the great lakes. First two of same gull south end of L. Mich at the IN Dunes, black wings with white, black tail, white head"

Hopsing, this description is based on the picture or your observations of the bird? The reason I ask is black wings would not be consistent with a Herring Gull and I am not sure I understand what you mean by white, black tail.

I agree with psweet that the second bird is a Herring Gull, although with brown primaries this may be first summer rather than second.

I also agree that the last bird is a juvenile Ring-billed Gull, (although I do wonder why the coverts look so white.)

#4 psweet

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 11:18 PM

Good point, Grandpa, I went from the photo and didn't look at the description. A date would help at least determine possibilities.

#5 Hopsing129

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 11:30 PM

This is why we should read what we write :P . The flying gull taken Wed at the Indiana Dunes. The second two were taken today.
The flying gull, was far away and most of the ID was from the photo. I meant the tail looked black and it had a white head.

Life List: #341
2012 List: #240
2013 List: #290

2014 List: #156
Lifer #200: American Redstart Lifer #250: Common Gallinule Lifer #300: Lewis's Woodpecker
Last Three: Band-tailed Pigeon, Anna's Hummingbird, Allen's Hummingbird


#6 Grandpa577

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 02:21 AM

Honestly, the problem is in the photos. No gull has black underwing coverts and although a Herring Gull can have an all black or dark brown tail, its uppertail and undertail coverts are primarily white and we should see them in these photos.

Ebird says that Herring Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls are the only gulls reported at Indiana Dunes in July.

While I lean towards Herring Gull, if you look at the head of the Ring-billed Gull in the upper left corner of your last photo and compare it to the Herring Gull in the previous photo (and the other Ring-billed Gulls in the same photo), its head structure, at least to me, looks more like the Herring Gull than the round headed Ring-billed Gulls. What it would look like if it was photographed under the same conditions as your first shot, I can only guess.

#7 psweet

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 03:47 AM

Yeah, I can testify that any gull other than Herring and Ring-billed right now would get a lot of attention around the south end of Lake Michigan.




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