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What was the SIZE of the Brown Gull-like bird you saw in North Carolina?



South Polar Skua Dark: This small, gull-like skua occurs in two color phases. Dark phase adult has a dark brown body with a large white patch at base of primaries visible in flight. Dark bill, thick and heavy; short, broad tail. Light phase adult has pale gray-brown head and underparts. Feeds on fish, krill and squid. Strong direct flight with shallow wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Brown Booby: This large seabird is mostly dark brown with white under wing coverts, belly and vent. It has a blue-gray to yellow bill and yellow legs and feet. To acquire food, it plunge dives from 30 to 50 feet. It feeds on parrot fish, flatfish, mullets and other fish. It has alternating strong rapid wing beats and glides. The sexes are similar.
Bulwer's Petrel: This medium-sized petrel is dark brown overall with pale diagonal bars across secondary coverts. The long tail is usually held in a point; wedge shape visible when fanned. It has a black hooked bill and black legs and feet. Feeds on squid and small fish. It picks food from the surface while in flight. Makes a series of stiff flaps before each short twisting glide. Sexes are alike.
Bermuda Petrel: Medium petrel, gray-brown upperparts shading to black on rump; white underparts except for dusky sides of upper breast. Base of tail has white band. White face, forehead. Black-brown cap goes to eyes. In flight shows black-gray upperwings, white underwings with black margins, tips.
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.
Brown Noddy: This medium-sized tern is brown except for the white forehead blending to a gray nape and a small white lower half-eye ring. Its wedge shaped tail has a small notch at the tip. It has black legs and feet and a long slender bill. It has a strong swift flight with steady wing beats. It often flies with erratic changes of direction. It feeds mainly on fish and squid. The sexes are similar.
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 Skua: Large, heavy-bodied seabird, prominent white patch in primary feathers. Body color ranges from a light bleached to dark brown, all have a cinammon wash that makes the bird look red-tinged. Strong direct flight with constant shallow wingbeats. Hugs wave contours or flies up to 150 feet. Great Skua was split into Great Skua and Brown Skua (not in North American range) by the American Ornithologist Union.
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel: This is a black-brown storm-petrel with gray-brown wing bars and a conspicuous white band across the rump and large, slightly notched tail. It has a black bill, legs and feet. It has a buoyant, zigzag flight, alternating several rapid wing beats. It feeds on invertebrates, small vertebrates and sometimes carrion from the water's surface. The sexes are similar.
Cape Verde Shearwater: Large seabird with gray-brown upperparts, dark brown flight feathers, and white underparts. Light pink bill is fairly long and thin with a dark ring near the slightly hooked tip. The wings are long and the tail is medium in length. Flies with rapid stiff wing beats alternated with short glides.
 
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