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Herring or Lesser Black-back juvenile gull? Reno NV USA (1 Viewer)

Birds4Kathy

Well-known member
On January 3, 2021 I went to a lake near Reno Nevada called Sparks Marina to try and find one Lesser Black-back gull among hundreds of ring-billed, california and herring gulls. This bird was reported on 12/30/20 and 1/1/21. No photo was included but the bird was described as "First year bird with pale colored head in contrast to its overall brown body. Solid black bill and white edging to secondaries, dark primaries and tail". I realize the bird I have posted does not appear to have a distinctly pale colored head but in most respects it is close to this description. It also looks like it has a "smudgy patch around the eye" as described and depicted in the "All about birds" website. On the other hand when I look at juvenile/first year Herring gulls it looks a great deal like this gull as well. I would like to post this picture but really don't want to assign it the wrong species. Is there enough information in these photos to decide? If so what are the deciding factors? Thanks for your help! Kathy (confused birder in Reno).
 

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