Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Glaucous Gull

This time of year, we will get Glaucous and Iceland Gulls. As promised yesterday, I have Glaucous Gulls for you. These birds were shot 1 Jan 10 at Eastern Point in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Even if you are not coming to Gloucester, which you should or you are not a birder, which you should be, I hope it inspires you to take a closer look at gulls, no matter where you live or travel.

First we have a first cycle Glaucous gull bathing. Yes, that is Gloucester Harbor off of Eastern Point and that water is cold. But the birds must keep their feathers in tip-top condition. Here you can see that sloping forehead that I mentioned yesterday, but when you have a bird flopping in the water taking a bath, it is a easier fieldmark in the picture than in real life.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

A nice wingspread shows you that like the Iceland Gull, there are no black wingtips. He will appear white with brownish mottled pattern, but that heavy bill is a give-away as is the size of the bird itself.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Also note that the Glaucous Gull is about the is about the size of the Great Black-backed Gull. Here they are bathing together.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Below is a third cycle Glaucous Gull shot at the same time. Here you can see the gray on the back and the brown mottling is still apparent.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Not to discourage you, but if your gulls do not look exactly like these, there is some cross-breeding between species, which I leave up to the experts!


Mojo said...

I leave all of it to the experts myself! Not that specialized myself. But I do love these, truly.

Chris said...

Hi Steve,
There are indeed some groups of birds that i do hate... They are so difficult to identify... And as you said the hybrids things does not help... I'm now more and more checking when I have pictures that this is the right species!!! Your pictures are beautiful, I've met the glaucous last year and hope to see it again this year!

Barb said...

You need to compile a field guide to gulls, Steve! The wingspan one is especially nice.

Eve said...

Just great Steve!

TonyC said...

Great posts Steve. I really enjoy Gull ID - unfortunately down here we don't get many different species though

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