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Gulls in Central California (1 Viewer)

jocateme

Well-known member
Hello,

I was in California these past 2 weeks, and I'm having a really hard time identifying the gulls I've seen there. In Brazil we practically have only one sp. along our coast (Kelp), so one can imagine the trouble these gulls are causing to me haha!

Most of the ones I've seen were either Western or Heermann's, but some individuals seemed a bit strange for me.

1 - Sausalito, CA. Black spot on bill and mantle a little too pale for Western. Also, peak of the head is on the rear crown instead of above the eye, like on 2 (Sausalito), which is what I take for a typical Western. Right?
3 - Sausalito, CA. This one looks good for imm. Western, but I'd be happy if someone confirmed it.
4 & 5 - San Simeon, CA. Again, what's up with the pale mantle and the black marking on bill? They were feeding on an elephant seal carcass, by the way.

I'd appreciate any help.
 

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Steve Schoech

Well-known member
Disclaimer - I'm no gull expert ... 1 & 4 seem to be Glaucous-winged gulls. 2 & 3 I agree with Westerns.... 5 ???
 

Bird_Bill

Well-known member
Kinda thinking herring gulls going gourmet in #5,yellow/black eyes and flesh pink legs.
Color of mark on lower mandible of bill says different.
 

Kratter

Well-known member
1 Glaucous-winged
2. Western Gulls
3. Two 4th cycle "Olympic" Gulls (= Western x Glaucous-winged), plus rightmost looks like a Glaucous-winged and the foreground bird is probably a first cycle Glaucous-winged (or maybe an Olympic Gull)
4. Glaucous-winged Gull
5. Two adult Western Gulls, one Glacous-winged Gull (2nd cycle)
Gulls with some black on the bills is a sign of immaturity.


Andy
 

jocateme

Well-known member
Thanks a lot, guys, especially Andy! Man, hybrids certainly don't make this any easier!

I'd appreciate help with these guys below too, if possible. 5 more photos and my best guess for their IDs (all in Sausalito, except for 5, in Santa Barbara)

1 - Glaucous-winged (Olympic?)
2 - 2nd cycle Western
3 - 1st cycle and adult Western
4 - Glaucous-winged (Olympic?)
5 - California?

Thanks again!

EDIT: Forgot to attach photo no. 5!
 

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jocateme

Well-known member
Hmm, indeed, it does! The only Ring-billeds I've seen were in Hermosa Beach... They're not as common in CA as in the west coast, right?
 
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wimvdam

Well-known member
Hmm, indeed, it does! The only Ring-billeds I've seen were in Hermosa Beach... They're not as common in CA as in the west coast, right?

Actually, they are pretty common in California. Last December at the Christmas Bird Count in Santa Barbara we had 146 of them.

-Wim
 

mäkpe

Well-known member
No. 2 looks like a 1st winter Ring-billed Gull.

- Wim

It's not a Ring-billed but one of the large gulls. It has f.e. short wings, relatively pale primaries (black in R-b G), dark lower mandible etc.
I don't know what it is as i have enough to do with our local Finnish gulls :)
 

jocateme

Well-known member
Actually, they are pretty common in California. Last December at the Christmas Bird Count in Santa Barbara we had 146 of them.

-Wim

Interesting, then I must have missed them! And, by the way, by "west coast" I meant "east coast" haha
 

jocateme

Well-known member
It's not a Ring-billed but one of the large gulls. It has f.e. short wings, relatively pale primaries (black in R-b G), dark lower mandible etc.
I don't know what it is as i have enough to do with our local Finnish gulls :)

I wonder if it could be Herring then? Anyway, immature gulls are way too problematic to me! haha
 

Jim M.

Choose Civility
I can see why people have been a bit reluctant to opine on 2 in the second set. It certainly appears too dainty and slender-billed for a large gull, but the pale primaries are not right for Ring-billed. But all this fits for Thayer's Gull, as do the pale edges of the primaries (J-hooks) and dark eye. If you have Gulls of the Americas, compare photo 36.20 showing a 2d cycle Thayer's.

Jim
 
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wimvdam

Well-known member
It's not a Ring-billed but one of the large gulls. It has f.e. short wings, relatively pale primaries (black in R-b G), dark lower mandible etc.
I don't know what it is as i have enough to do with our local Finnish gulls :)

Good point about the non-black primaries. Thanks.

- Wim
 

jeigenauer

Snowy Owl
Confirming Western gull

1 Glaucous-winged
2. Western Gulls
3. Two 4th cycle "Olympic" Gulls (= Western x Glaucous-winged), plus rightmost looks like a Glaucous-winged and the foreground bird is probably a first cycle Glaucous-winged (or maybe an Olympic Gull)
4. Glaucous-winged Gull
5. Two adult Western Gulls, one Glacous-winged Gull (2nd cycle)
Gulls with some black on the bills is a sign of immaturity.


Andy

I am not a gull expert, but I agree w/ #2 being a Western. I spend time watching these gulls on the CA coast and three things keep popping up in my viewing of Western gulls: a flat look to the head, some red around the yellow eye, and a slightly darker shade of grey. I'm not sure that any of these are definitive, but they help me to pick out this particular gull in the area I watch (north and south of Los Angeles).

PS: I am referring to: http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=368747&d=1328868015

John E.
 

Jim M.

Choose Civility
I am not a gull expert, but I agree w/ #2 being a Western. I spend time watching these gulls on the CA coast and three things keep popping up in my viewing of Western gulls: a flat look to the head, some red around the yellow eye, and a slightly darker shade of grey. I'm not sure that any of these are definitive, but they help me to pick out this particular gull in the area I watch (north and south of Los Angeles).

PS: I am referring to: http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=368747&d=1328868015

John E.

Yes, everyone agrees 2 in the first set is a Western. It is 2 in the second set that has generated the discussion.

Jim
 

jocateme

Well-known member
Hey guys!

I have no field experience with most American gulls, but judging from my guides (unfortunately I don't own 'Gulls of the Americas') and photos in the internet, 2nd winter Thayer's does seem to be a good alternative, although 'my' bird's primaries seem a little too dark for Thayer's, don't they?

I wonder if it could be a Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull hybrid? 2nd winter individual here looks very similar to 'mine', although overall seemingly paler, which, I assume, varies with age.
 
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Jim M.

Choose Civility
Hey guys!

I have no field experience with most American gulls, but judging from my guides (unfortunately I don't own 'Gulls of the Americas') and photos in the internet, 2nd winter Thayer's does seem to be a good alternative, although 'my' bird's primaries seem a little too dark for Thayer's, don't they?

I wonder if it could be a Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull hybrid? 2nd winter individual here looks very similar to 'mine', although overall seemingly paler, which, I assume, varies with age.

Primaries look fine for Thayer's to me. That's a field mark for Thayer's--primaries too dark for Iceland. Not seeing any problem with Thayer's, I don't see a need to speculate about rarer hybrids. Bill also looks too slender to me for a Herring x GWG.

Jim
 
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KenM

Well-known member
No.2..in set 2 looks good for a 2nd Winter Thayer's...for reasons as stated.

cheers
 

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