Friday, April 8, 2016 Glaucous Gull juvenile, Herring Gull

Seward, Alaska

As forecast, the strong north wind died, and a major storm blew in this afternoon bringing strong south winds and squalls, ending the two days of sunshine. What a contrast!

I checked out the gulls, huddled on the gravel beach facing the wind and spitting rain. Among them was a large GLAUCOUS GULL juvenile, with a bicolored bill, light beige plumage, and pale pink legs. The other gulls seemed to completely accept him in their midst.

Looking for a Thayer’s Gull, I studied a gull with a roundish flattish head, (depending on its expression), pale eye, largish bill, black primaries with white windows, pale pink legs. I decided it was a HERRING GULL, possibly a female. Thayer’s Gull ID is tricky! I will keep looking.

One of the GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS had a swollen area above the beak, but this infection (?) did not seem to bother it, and indeed made it special and unique.

Two other Glaucous-winged gulls were inspired to a little courtship bonding, bowing then raising their yellow bills high and touching them like a kiss.

Gulls are very interesting to watch and photograph, as they’re graceful, smart and always up to something. They have so many plumages, it’s always a challenge to try to figure out who they are and their molt stage. And, they are usually pretty easy to find.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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