[CT Birds] CTBirds Digest, Vol 2494, Issue 3

Donna Caporaso donnacap at aol.com
Tue Dec 24 22:39:03 EST 2013

Thanks Keith.  Yes, there were some that didn't feel Iceland was the best ID .  Last year I wasn't sold on strictly Iceland but being a newbie to Gulls I am still learning.  As he ages hopefully he'll tell us more.   And yes, we may never know for sure and that's okay too.  He is worth the trip to see though if Gulls are your thing! And if you happen to be at Long Beach looking for Snowy's it's worth looking for him as well.

Merry Christmas all!

Donna Caporaso
Stratford, CT

-----Original Message-----
From: kmueller <kmueller at ntplx.net>
To: Donna Caporaso <donnacap at aol.com>
Cc: ctbirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Tue, Dec 24, 2013 6:40 pm
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] CTBirds Digest, Vol 2494, Issue 3

Thanks for finding this Gull Donna...it certainly has initiated some  
great debate. But if I may add just a small correction or two....I  
still believe (with a few others) that this Gull is a hybrid Iceland x  
Glaucous, and others feel it might be another possible hybrid, maybe  
Glaucous x Herring, Herring x Iceland....who knows? It is true that  
many on the FB Gulls page thought it was OK for a large Kumlien's, but  
there were also a few that were a little skeptical and one comment by  
a well-known Gull authority that stated he didn't see any reason for  
it being a Kumlien's. But one thing is for sure, only a few of us have  
experienced the Gull first hand to form our opinions. Photos are not a  
good tool to identify a very unusual Gull. I have always stated unless  
you are there experiencing every aspect and specie trait of the bird,  
watching its behavior and seeing it blink its eye lids...its just a  
flat bird image on a flat computer screen subject to all the digital  
proportion flaws and pixelated abnormalities. I guess if you want the  
bird to be a large Iceland Gull, than it is a large Iceland Gull. If  
you see something in the bird that makes you believe it is a hybrid  
Gull, than it is a hybrid Gull. Everyone has an opinion, and one thing  
is for sure....they are just opinions. The one truth is that with the  
exception of God and Mother Nature, no one person really knows what  
this Gull really is....its just an opinion.

Merry Christmas!

Keith Mueller

Quoting Donna Caporaso <donnacap at aol.com>:

> Hi All and Dan, the bird you mention, known by some as Mr. Long  
> Beach, was first spotted by me on 1/14/2013 at Long Beach and there  
> was a lot of debate over his true identity both here and on the  
> North American Gulls Facebook page.  The experts on that page, with  
> a lot of experience with Glaucous and Iceland, all weighed in and  
> felt the bird was a supersized Iceland.  I watched him every chance  
> I could hoping to snag a feather to put the debate to rest but no  
> luck.  Interesting to note that several comments about the bird  
> mentioned if he was found somewhere else he might be IDed more as a  
> Glaucous than Iceland or as a possible hybrid.   While some of us  
> weren't convinced he was strictly Iceland, that is where we ended  
> the discussion in May.  Both Patrick Commins and Keith Mueller have  
> seen the bird and saw the discussions.  I would watch him at least  
> once a week and like Keith, took many photos.  Keith and I posted  
> him again on North American Gulls this week calling him an Iceland  
> and no one commented challenging that ID.  He/she is large, last  
> year the photos showed the bird almost twice the size of some of the  
> Herrings but still Iceland is what the majority rules.  Perhaps if  
> he returns every year and we watch him mature we will be able to put  
> a positive ID on him.
> He is a beautiful bird!
> Donna Caporaso
> Stratford, CT


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