[CT Birds] Todays curious gull in Windsor

Comins, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Sun Feb 24 18:04:13 EST 2013

That is unfortunate, but often the way of curious gulls.   It is still a beautiful gull, even if we may never know what it is for sure.  

We can't forget about the other bird, although it may go down in flames as well.  There is still a chance that it is a Yellow-legged Gull, although ruling out a hybrid Herring X Lesser Black-backed will be difficult.   A few features still strike me as curious for that combination, including the tail pattern, the very long primaries, the head and body streaking, the large bill and retarded state of molt.  All may be within the range of that hybrid combination, but most of the hybrids I have seen photos of have a somewhat dumpy appearance halfway between Herring and Lesser.  To me, this bird has the sleek and streamlined appearance I'd expect from an "Atlantic" Yellow-legged Gull and I can't get past that large and powerful looking bill.  Sadly, both of these birds would be much easier to identify in about 12 months time.

Patrick Comins, Meriden. 

From: CTBirds [ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] on behalf of Mark Szantyr [birdinggeek at gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 4:28 PM
To: Mark Szantyr
Cc: CTbird
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Todays curious gull in Windsor

Well, the experts  in Japan have offered an opinion and while they state it could be in the range of variation for Slaty-backed Gull, they are troubled by a few things that suggest possible herring gull influence, in part or in full, smithsonianus or vega, or some other form.

You have got to love gulls.


On Feb 19, 2013, at 6:20 PM, Mark Szantyr <birdinggeek at gmail.com> wrote:

> http://birddog55.zenfolio.com/p343739918
> Found this gull while scouting for Thursday's Gull Workshop at the Windsor Landfill. Many aspects of this bird suggest that it might be a first calendar year Slaty-backed Gull. There are only two previous state records for this species and this plumage is a very difficult one to sort out. As i said, many characters lead to this very tentative identification and i have sent the images out for consultation with some people who might have more experience than I do with the species.
> I post this as a disclaimer for Thursday. We may refind this bird. If we do, that will be cool because it is a very neat and  interesting gull. it still might not be positively identified to species... Heck, it might never be.
> And that is why i love looking at gulls!
> Photos above.
> Mark

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