Monday, January 11, 2010

Iceland Gull

So you're coming to Gloucester to do some Birding are you? Good! We have some stuff for you to see. It never seems to amaze me how many inlanders come to Gloucester to see birds in the winter. And why not? The Common Eiders are common, the Great Cormorants are great and with the cold, our sandpipers are Purple.

I've commented many times about gulls and I know that a lot of folks are intimidated by them. Well, I see hundreds of gulls every day and I still get the heebie-jeebies when it comes to identifying some gulls. So as a community service, I put up gull posts from time to time.

Today is the mature, non-breeding Iceland Gull.

Photographing whitish birds in bright light against darker backgrounds is tough. Some of the whites are blown out. Keep in mind that these are all of the same bird.

Iceland gulls and Glaucous Gulls have the lack the bold black wingtips.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Here the Iceland Gull is foraging for food. Some field guides will comment on the slope of the bridge between the eyes as an indicator, but I'm not inclined to rely on that. A better indicator is that the Iceland Gull's bill is smaller than the Glaucous Gull's bill in all maturity levels. Tomorrow, I will show you a Glaucous Gull.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Notice that the Iceland Gull is smaller than the Herring Gull.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

This bird was shot 10 Jan 10 at Eastern Point in Gloucester, Massachusetts.


Anonymous said...

Identifying gulls? Rather you than me Steve.
Thats a very good and useful comparison shot with the Herring Gull.

Carol said...

I love the flight shots...I am not very good at them so appreciate the ability to get good ones.

Chris Petrak said...

Good series on the Iceland, as also the previous one of the buffie - they are not often close. I think of the Iceland as having a 'sweeter' look that the other larids, and also 'petit' at least compared with the hrring, black-backed, and glaucous

Mojo said...

Whatever it's given name is, that's a good looking bird!

I don't even try to identify 'em... just shoot 'em. That's challenge enough for me thanks.

I won't get as far north as you, but if everything goes according to plan, I'll be not terribly far in another 5 or 6 weeks. ('Cause it's just not cold enough down here, ya know?)

The Early Birder said...

I attended Gull workshop some years ago but the brain still has difficulty with basic ID plus I've only ever seen 2 of these. Helpful comparison with the Herring Gull Steve.

BTW if you were only 2 hours away I would be dropping in regularly for some winter birding. Have fun my friend. FAB.

Jenny said...

Wonderful photos of Iceland Gull Steve. I also think that Iceland Gulls tend to have a 'kinder' look to the face than Glaucous gull which looks more 'fierce' to me. Looking forward to the Glaucs! (-:

Chris said...

Hey Sir, this is our bird not yours ;-) How come you have them there, while we do not have any nowadays. I think I've only seen it twice around here!!! Well done these shots are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Love the photos of the gull flying with the blue water in the back ground.

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