Monday, August 11, 2014 Glaucous-winged Gull with tumor?

Seward, Alaska

On an evening bike ride about town, I stopped at the Harbor Uplands to watch three GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS. One of them had a startling protuberance above his bill. I've never seen this before. It didn't seem to impede his ability to vocalize or use his bill, and he seemed to interact normally with the other gulls.

The growth stretched the skin so much that it is no longer protected by feathers, thus it is a very cold spot in his waterproof armor.

If anyone knows what might have caused this, please email me.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

08-19-14 Thanks to Karen Higgs, DVM for the Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage for this response:

"Rather large and I imagine annoying to the bird. I haven't seen this before and the only way to get a diagnosis is with a biopsy unfortunately. Could be a tumor, a cyst (unlikely), a mass that is not a cancerous tumor, such as tissue response to a foreign body or inflammation, a xanthoma (fatty tissue), or something else. Sorry this doesn't help, and it would be very interesting to know."

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