[CT Birds] Long beach Iceland

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Thu Jan 16 17:37:27 EST 2014


Wow, this Gull seems to be getting quite a bit of attention, and  
deceivingly so!. If you haven't seen it, you should go down to Long  
Beach and enjoy it; it is a lovely Gull. I first became interested in  
this Gull last March when Donna Caporaso found it. She sent me a  
picture of the Gull and I recognized that this Gull was "different". I  
went down to Long Beach a few days later in the afternoon after one of  
those horrendous storms we had. I found the Gull on the beach way down  
beyond the jetty at the west end of the parking lot. I was instantly  
captivated by this Gull, and spent many hours observing it in March  
and April until it left. When it showed up again last month I  
recognized it immediately, now a 2nd cycle.

Today was the eighth visit this Dec. and Jan. I had to Long Beach  
studying this Gull. In total I have spent well over 60 hours studying  
this one Gull up close focusing very closely on its specific overall  
form and structure and most importantly its Gestalt.....which is what  
I have trained myself to do for nearly 40 years for my art. I have a  
long list of field observations (and nearly 20,000 pictures) for this  
Gull that makes me conclude that it "possibly/probably" has features  
and influences from two species of Gulls. This is why I (and a list of  
others) feel that it is a "possible" hybrid Gull with a larger  
influence being Kumlien's Gull. For me, avian form and function, and  
species traits are the backbone to my work This was the basis for the  
book I wrote called Waterfowl Concepts...Form and Function.

So if this Gull is a Kumlien's Gull, that's great! But I have to  
respectfully disagree that this Gull can only be a "classic example"  
of a Kumlien's Gull (which is a hybrid BTW). In my opinion it has many  
characteristics that offer a possibility of it being a "possible"  
hybrid.

There are no guide lines or charts that identify what hybrids should  
look like. Hybridization may be more common than recognized because  
hybrids may look similar to the parent species and not be recognized  
as hybrids. When I raised wild waterfowl, hybrids happened all the  
time. Often the fledglings looked obvious what the parent species  
were, other times (an often in the same clutch) they would only have a  
hint of the parent species or sometimes not at all.

In the end, its just an opinion.....and my opinion is that it is a  
lovely and interesting Gull, that is quite unique. But I still believe  
it is a "possible" hybrid.

Enjoy the Gull!

Keith Mueller











Quoting Greg Hanisek <ghanisek at rep-am.com>:

> I happened to see this gull for the first time a couple days ago,  
> and I'd  have to agree with Julian that I don't see any reason to  
> call it anything but kumlieni, give the variablity of that taxon. As  
> a quick note for the many newer birders and new participants on this  
> list, it's fine to call this an Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides.  
> Essentially, based on current taxonomy, all Iceland Gulls seen in  
> our area are of the North American subspecies - Larus glaucoides  
> kumleini (aka "Kumlien's" Gull, also an acceptable common name),  
> breeding in eastern Arctic Canada.  The Old World subspecies of  
> Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides glaucoides, has never been documented  
> in CT and has only rarely been recorded in North America.  It breeds  
> in Greenland and winters in Europe. The NA birds (L. g. kumlieni)  
> show varying amounts of gray in the wingtips (as does the Long Beach  
> bird), while L. g. glaucoides has pure white wing tips.
>
> Greg Hanisek
> Waterbury
>     _____
>
>
> From: julian hough [mailto:jrhough1 at snet.net]
> To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org [mailto:ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org]
> Sent: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 13:13:06 -0500
> Subject: [CT Birds] Long beach Iceland
>
> Just to reitorate to others on the list that may not be aware or be  
> confused, that the gull that has been at Long Beach - and labelled  
> previously by some as a "hybrid" or Glaucous Gull for the past two  
> years is, on plumage, a straightforward 2nd-cycle Iceland Gull,  
> albeit a large one. It is perhaps misleading, at least in my  
> opinion, to continue to refer to this bird as a hybrid.
>
>
> Julian Hough
> New Haven, CT 06519
> www.naturescapeimages.wordpress.com
>
>
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