Gull pictures (long)

Russell Rogers rrogers122 at attbi.com
Sun Jan 13 19:33:00 PST 2002


Hi Ruth and tweeters,

There is at least one other Thurston County Bohemian Waxwing;

1/12/1998 in Olympia by Anne Potter

Russell


Ruth Sullivan wrote:


> Hello Kelly and Chris,

> First thank you Kelly to post the photo of the Bohamian Waxwing you found

> on Christmas Eve on Mud Bay,i believe this bird is a first for the

> County.Seeing the photo of you Gull, i must agree with Chris,that this bird

> is a Herring Gull,it is verry typical heavy body with a pale yellow eye and

> a large bill.Where yoy found this bird we usual seeig three Herrig Gulls

> there when we birding there.

>

>

> Ruth Sullivan Tacoma

> ----- Original Message -----

> From: Chris Hill <chill at kingfish.coastal.edu>

> To: Kelly Mcallister <mcallkrm at dfw.wa.gov>

> Cc: <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2002 1:48 PM

> Subject: Gull pictures (long)

>

>

>

>>>The other two photos were taken during my brief attempt at sorting out

>>>

> adult gull identification

>

>>>at Perry Creek mouth, Mud Bay, Thurston County, Washington. I will

>>>

> probably work on

>

>>>creating hyperlinks for these photos so that each one can be viewed at a

>>>

> larger size on the

>

>>>screen. As it is, I don't think the gull's pale eyes can be seen. I am

>>>

> calling it a Herring

>

>>>Gull but I am open to correction, if the photos are good enough to allow

>>>

> independent evaluation.

>

>>>I think the bill is too large and heavy for it to be a pale-eyed

>>>

> Thayer's Gull.

>

>>>Hope to hear from anybody who cares to take a look.

>>>

>>Kelly,

>>

>>to me, the flat head and long bill sure look like Herring Gull. More than

>>that, the wingtip pattern looks much more like Herring than Thayers. If

>>you look at that black-and-white area that corresponds to the tips of the

>>primaries on the folded wing, the impression I get on your bird is of big

>>black feathers with small white tips. On all the Thayers I saw in Puget

>>Sound, that area looked like a row of a checkerboard - black and white

>>"squares," equal in width. Although Thayers vary regionally, I've

>>found that pattern a distinctive "checkpoint" when looking at possible

>>Thayers in WA. In adults only, of course, but this bird looks like a full

>>adult.

>>

>>Of course, the white would tend to decrease over time through wear, but

>>(1) this bird has *really* small spots, and (2) I'd only worry about

>>dramatic wear if this picture were taken in May or June. Gulls are in

>>pretty fresh plumage through the winter.

>>

>>I used to have such a hard time finding Herring Gulls in Puget Sound. I

>>swear, I think Herring is more *overreported* (on CBCs especially) than

>>any other gull species. But if you reported this as a Herring, I would

>>believe it no problem, even if you hadn't seen pale eyes.

>>

>>Other than the light eye, I'd be more worried about this bird being a

>>GWG-WG hybrid than a Thayers. However, most hybrids I see that are that

>>dark in the wingtip are very white on the head in winter (Western

>>Gull-like). I have a hard time judging mantle color on a sunlit

>>photograph, so I probably shouldn't even try. Your bird's back appears

>>pretty dark for a Herring, more like a GWG-HG hybrid, but that could just

>>be the lighting. I'd expect a hybrid's bill to be more bulbous, less

>>long, but perhaps I'm overanalyzing that. I can't see if the wingtips are

>>truly black (like Herring) or dark gray (like most hybrids).

>>

>>Anyway, I'm no expert, but in my opinon, it's no Thayers, and has several

>>features that point towards Herring rather than a mongrel.

>>

>>I'm off to the local dump tomorrow to sort through a few thousand gulls

>>(mostly ring-billed and herring) for other goodies, so this is a good

>>mental warmup.

>>

>>I'd be interested to hear what others think.

>>

>>Nice photos of the Waxwing, too, by the way.

>>

>>Chris Hill

>>Conway, SC (formerly, Everett, WA)

>>chill at coastal.edu

>>

>>

>

>

>



--
----------------------------------------------------------------
Russell Rogers
6637 Glenwood Drive SW
Olympia WA 98512
(360) 709-9870
mailto:rrogers122 at attbi.com
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Russell Rogers
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
Point Whitney Shellfish Laboratory
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
1000 Point Whitney Road
Brinnon WA 98320
(360) 586-1498 ex 221
mailto:rogerrer at dfw.wa.gov
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