[CT Birds] Stratford Kumlien's Gull/hybrid gull/Glaucous Gull

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Tue Dec 24 14:19:38 EST 2013

Not being well versed in gulls, I did a search on Kumlien's Gull.  Here is a bit of what Wikipedia had:

"It has variably been considered a full species, a subspecies of Thayer's Gull, a subspecies of Iceland Gull, and a hybrid between the aforementioned species. It is currently 
considered a subspecies of Iceland Gull by the American Ornithologists' 
Union."  Later it makes regular use of the word "indistinguishable". 

So checking out the entry for Thayer's Gull from the same source we find, in part:

"Somewhat intermediate between American Herring Gull and Iceland Gull in habit and appearance and at times considered conspecific with either species."

Of course next year it might all change.

My hat's off to all you larufiles out there, you certainly know how to find something challenging!

Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT

----- Original Message -----

From: julian hough <jrhough1 at snet.net>
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Sent: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 1:52 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Stratford Kumlien's Gull/hybrid gull/Glaucous Gull

A quick note..the bird returning from last year..which despite its large size fit Kumlien's Gull in my mind rather than the purported theories of it being a hybrid or a Glaucous Gull, was present this morning.
This year, to help the identification, it returned sporting typical dusky webs to the outer primaries typical of a 2nd-winter Kumlien's Gull. I think its large size is a red-herring since size in gulls is so variable. The bird's structure, wing pattern and bill size and shape are perfectly Kumlieni and there's no reason, in my mind to invite more complex theories into its identification. Hopefully between Christmas cheer I can post photos to my blog. But..if you want to see a Glaucous Gull don't go to Stratford. :) Happy Hils to everyone!

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