Gulls in the Flathead?
- Hi Dan (and others in the Flathead),
Some of us will be in Kalispell next week for meetings. Can you give
us an update on the status of the various rare gulls? Are they still
being seen at the landfill? I'm hoping to sneak out for some birding
during the week.
Jim et al:
This from Pyle, 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds (Part 1):
HY/SY male,female (Oct - 2nd Oct): Lower back and underparts primarily gray; crown, nape and uppertail coverts with varying amounts of olive, yellowish, or russet;...Most HY/SYs in Sep-Mar are not reliably sexed by plumage alone, although females average duller (especially on the crown and rump) and with a lighter russet tinge to the head or olive tinge to the breast than males...AHY/SY females body plumage as for HY/SY, ...breast tinged olive. AHY/ASY males body plumage primarily pink or reddish...
This is the source book for banders identifying birds in hand. HY = Hatch Year; SY = Second Year; AHY = After Hatch Year, ASY = After Second Year (adult).
Based on his further descriptions of wing features, etc., adult females should also have the broadest and whitest wingbars. But generally, the implication is that all birds other than adult males should be sexed with caution. By his definitions, all birds present now would either be Second Year or adults.