Re: [BirdYak] Re: Kick the can, ban the gull
- Hey Moclips Surfer,
The majority of big pink-legged gulls at this season on the outer WA coast are actually hybrid Glaucous-winged X Western Gulls. BTW, this hybrid was not dealt with in the Golden Guide (unless I'm missing a Iater edition). On the section of coast we birded (Leadbetter to Ocean Shores), I picked out exactly one adult Glaucous-winged and a few immatures. I believe I saw a couple adult Westerns. All the rest showed evidence of being hybrids.
Californias are pretty easy at this time with lots of adults on the beach. A fair number of 1st-year birds, most quite dark brown. Ring-bills are only locally common such as at the Hoquiam STP. They're fairly straightforward. The juveniles are really pale. Bonaparte's are straightforward, too. Heermann's are perhaps the easiest of all.
Hey, there are a lot of new guides out there dealing in a much better fashion with gulls than the Golden Guide. Check 'em out! National Geograpjic, Sibley, Kaufmann, and others. If you start with the big pink-legged ones and study the guides depiction of hybrids, then move to the smaller species. Give 'em a 2nd chance; gulls are not THAT bad!
----- Original Message -----
From: President-for-Life, Moclips Surf Club
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 2:59 PM
Subject: [BirdYak] Re: Kick the can, ban the gull
I lived for twenty years at Ocean Shores. You'd think I could identify gulls. I was interested in the knots of Heermann's that would cluster on sandbars on the south and east sand bars of Damon Point. I could identify Ring Bills if I saw them in the parking lot of McDonalds in Aberdeen. I guess I could id the few Bonapart's and Kitiwakes that came through. But all those big gulls, the ones >20 inches, The Herring, Thayers, Western, Glacous-Winged, Glacous, and California, I would hardly look at them to save me from the frustration.
Rich's bird got me looking at my old Golden Guide because there's a two page spread that compares a bunch of adult and immature gulls together. Too bad it's on a white background, because it's hard to see white edged features. Got me thinking "Hey, where's the Thayer's?" Well, since this old Golden Guide was printed, the Thayer's was split out from the Herring. How anybody could tell the difference is beyond me.
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