Monday February 18, 2013: Glaucous Gull and Goldeneye hybrid

Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report

I spotted two gulls standing on fucus-covered rocks at low tide this afternoon south of the Harbor Uplands. All around them, sleek and beautifully marked BARROW'S GOLDENEYES paddled and dove in the shallow water, emerging with blue mussels and small fish for lunch.

Both gulls were large with pink legs and feet, but one was quite pale. I realized it was a GLAUCOUS GULL hanging out with the default GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, and took many photos. 

When I got home and reviewed the photos, I noticed an unusual goldeneye drake with the rest. He had a greenish glossy head instead of the normal Barrow's Goldeneye purple. His crescent was not as neat or white, and the striping on his wings was much whiter and less crisp. His bill is longer and his forehead more sloped. This is the first BARROW'S X COMMON GOLDENEYE that I have ever seen.

A two for one special!

For more information on gull identification, check out Steve Hampton's website at <>

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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