Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:43 AM
1 Western Gull (adult)?
2 Western Gull (adult)?
3 Western Gull (2nd winter)?
Posted 19 August 2012 - 01:14 PM
Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:47 PM
Agree on the first one. The second one is probably a Western, but I can't see enough to rule out Glaucous-winged (or even a hybrid ). The third one is a 3rd winter bird (a 2nd winter would have brownish wing coverts -- this guy's are adult type). Given the amount of brown on the head, I think there's probably a fair bit of Glaucous-winged in his family tree.
Thanks, psweet. Regarding #3, would the bill be that dark for a 3rd year bird for both the Western and Glaucous-winged? My Sibley Western guide shows 1st and 2nd winter illustrations for both species and then jumps to adult and in both the adult bill is yellow with the red mark on the lower mandible.
Posted 19 August 2012 - 04:05 PM
Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:16 PM
Yes, given that the photo was taken in November, (i.e. early in winter) I'm not really surprised at seeing that dark a bill on a 3rd. winter bird. Looking at Olsen and Larsson, it appears that Glaucous-winged tend to keep a dark bill longer in the process than pure Westerns, do, and for at least some large gulls, the progression of color on the bill is pretty variable. Around here, we get a few 1st winter Herring Gulls with entirely pink bills, for example.
OK, in other words it's complicated! Or stated another way, don't expect field guides to include a lot of nuanced information.
Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:30 PM
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