[CT Birds] Gull update. Going to submit as Yellow-legged Gull

Comins, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Sun Feb 17 14:32:09 EST 2013

PS, According to the website, the landfill is open tomorrow.  It is VERY muddy there at the moment, especially if it warms up.   You might want to double check with them before making the drive, or check the website for yourself to be sure.  Oh, and the photos are from me and Keith Mueller.

I hope this bird hangs around until Thursday's gull ID seminar.


From: Comins, Patrick
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2013 2:25 PM
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: Gull update. Going to submit as Yellow-legged Gull

I decided to submit the gull as a Yellow-legged Gull and will write it up as such. After much studying of photos of 2nd year birds, I'm convinced it is a fit for either michahellis or atlantis.  I think the only other possibility is a hybrid Herring x Lesser, but to me the tail is wrong for either of those species and a better fit for Yellow-legged Gull.  Also, i'd expect such a hybrid to be smaller than average for a Herring Gull and this bird was average to large.

The combination of features, long primaries, dendroica-stripes on side of breast/flanks, fairly large, the right adult gray shade coming in on scapulars and mantle, very dark greater coverts (but fading on inner coverts), overall lack of any brown (gray, black, white theme), banded tail with striping at the base, mostly black bill for a 2nd cycle, reduced inner primary window, dark primaries to p4 or p5, seem to be a fit for Yellow-legged Gull.  I had considered the possibility of Caspian Gull, but I don't think it is large enough and also I'd think the tail band is narrow enough.

Combination of photos by me can be seen here:

I find photos 24, 25, 31, 33 and 35 the most helpful.

We'll see what the ARCC says, but I want to capture it through GBBC just in case.  Thoughts are appreciated.

Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation

Audubon Connecticut
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 06488

Phone: (203)264-5098 x308

Fax: (203)264-6332

pcomins at audubon.org
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