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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gull ID Quiz

I've added four species to the year list in the last couple of days, the most exciting of which was a peregrine falcon at Jackson Bottom Wetlands on Tuesday. It's been raining for days straight but there seems to be a break in the weather today so I'll get out there and see what I can find.

In the meantime, here is a short gull ID quiz. It may not be too difficult for some of you, but it's also a quiz of my ability to correctly ID gulls (I'm pretty certain I have all three of these correct), so I'll be very interested in your answers. I'll post my answers in the comments section in a couple of days.





The K said...

I'm guessing (from top to bottom): 2nd cycle Mew Gull, Thayer's Gull, and Glaucous-winged Gull (although not sure about the beak on this one).

Unknown said...

The date would have helped to better determine the ages and thus species.

The top bird appears to be second summer (April to August) Ring-billed, told from Mew by the pointed dark anchor shapes in the brown wing coverts.

The second bird is an adult. The school bus-orange bill with heavy gonys angle means this is a Western or Glaucous-winged. It appears most similar to Western, but the dark smudge on the face and less than jet-black wing tips could indicate some Glaucous-winged genes in its ancestry. I guess I'd call this Western, assuming that the not-bright-pink legs mean this photo was taken in early winter (November-January).

The final photo is easy, a Glaucous-winged Gull. I'm guessing it is in 2nd winter or 2nd summer, perhaps photographed in the February to April time frame.


Monika said...

All the photos were taken within the last week, if that helps with the IDs as Greg suggested. I'll post more thoughts after others have had a chance to weigh in.

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Monika

I'm saying
#1 1st winter RBG bill too heavy for Mew and the pointedv dark 'anchors' already mentioned.
#2 Adult Thayer's - wide tertial band and looks like a fairly insubstantial tertial step with longish primary projection (hard to tell exactly from angle bird is sitting), legs appear fleshy cloured rather than bright pink and the eye is dark - ruling out Smithsonian aka American Herring Gull. Clean head, light mid-toned mantle and indeterminate leg colour take out Western(I think!)
#3 3rd winter Glaucous winged Gull.

I like it - got any 1st winter larger gulls to go at?
Hope I did OK from over here



Bob said...

Gull number two has too much black showing on the folded wing and too big a bill for Thayer's. I wish i could see the underside of the fold. Western's can be pale and often confused with Thayer's. My two cents :)