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Tern and Gulls - SW Florida (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I'd appreciate some help on the ID of these gulls and terns spotted this month in SW Florida.

#1 - North Naples. I'm pretty sure it is some immature gull (Herring? Ring-billed?), but would love confirmartion.

#2 - North Naples. I wonder if the tern in the front, slightly to the right of the center (as well some others in the back with an equally reddish bill), could be Caspian?

#3 - Lido Key, Sarasota. Lesser Black-backed Gull?

#4 & #5 (same individual) - Longboat Key. Lesser Black-backed Gull?


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lou salomon

the birdonist
you are mostly right:
1. are two american herring gulls, 1st cycles.
2. is a royal tern with a red bill. caspian tern's bill is differently shaped, even bigger but not as pointed and has a blackish subterminal mark. caspian tern doesn't have such a long crest, either.
3-5. are LBBGs indeed.
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Well-known member
Thanks a lot, Lou! Didn't know Royal's bill color varied that much.

Here are two more gulls, both in Longboat Key, which I'm fairly certain of the ID, but would highly appreciate confirmation:

#6 - Bonaparte's Gull?

#7 - I guess it's just a Laughing Gull, but it's the only one I've seen with this pinkish tone to the underparts. Is this normal?


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lou salomon

the birdonist
both correct; rosy tone to underparts can be present in a few individuals. many hooded gulls share this form but some species are more prone to it.


The Definitive Binocular
4 looks like Ring-billed Gull.

The picture of the terns on the beach is awesome. What set-up did you use? Did you do post-processing on that image?


Stop Brexit!
Ditto to Lou on all; I can see 3 terns in the flock with strongly red-toned bills, but they're all Royal, not Caspian, on bill and crest shape - the only non-Royals in the flock are the Skimmers at the back right. That gull #4 I can see the temptation to say Ring-billed, but look closely, there's a hint of a red spot just in from the black ring; also the mantle is much too dark for R-bG - it's a subadult (probably 4th year, maybe 3rd year) Lesser Black-back.


Well-known member
Hi everyone,

Tom, this is the tern I was referring to, as I thought its red bill suggested Caspian, but, as Lou and Nutcracker pointed out, I guess Royals may have red bills as well!

Like Dialyt, I initially thought the gull on pic #4 looked like Ring-billed, but you can clearly see the red spot in pic #5. This, together with the dark back, made me think it rather looked like Lesser Black-backed.

Thanks all for the insights and Nutcracker for the clarification!

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