I am not able to see the photos (not sure why), but I would agree about
salvaging the specimen.
I am not aware of field characteristics that separate this age Lesser
Black-backed Gull (Heuglin's Gull) from the expected race of Lesser
Black-backed Gull. I believe that this could be solved by a specimen.
] On Behalf
Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 1:22 PM
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: Lesser Black-backed age
Steve Hampton's sharp eyes caused me to go back through the photos and I
added two to the gulls file that clearly show the pale base to the lower
mandible and an ivory bill tip. I don't have any better shots showing gray
in the back, but just from the bill alone it's clearly not a first winter
bird. The eye looks dark in all photos and you can barely make out pale
edges on the primary tips in some photos so I wonder if it's an advanced
first summer/second winter bird that's not very far along in feather molt.
Would it's health, or lack of it, contribute to a tardy molt and dark eyes
as well? Hopefully someone can preserve the bird and it won't go to waste.
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