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Adult Common-type Gull ("Common Gull" refers to the three races of Common/Mew gulls that occur in Eurasia, while "Mew Gull" refers to the North American race, likely to be widely considered a separate species in the very near future), Arcata Bottoms, 23-Dec-2015. Note the very bulky appearance, rather large bill, and especially the lack of a "string-of-pearls" in the primaries. This bird's large size, rather dark mantle, and primary pattern best fit the East Asian race known as the Kamchatka Gull. There have been a few reports of Kamchatka-like gulls in California in recent years, but this may end up being the first fully-documented California record of a straightforward Common Gull of any kind, when they are officially split. Identification concerns include rare Mew x Ring-billed hybrids, but the extent and pattern of black in the primaries was not intermediate between those two species in this case.
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4/25/16
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Third-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull, Eureka, 5-Mar-2016. This is likely the same individual that furnished Humboldt's first record at nearby Elk River, an individual near the end of its first cycle in August 2014, which returned (presumably the same bird) near the end of its second cycle in August 2015. It is a particularly large Lesser Black-backed that retained strong pink tones in the legs through at least this March's occurrence. Video stills by Daniel Murphy.
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4/25/16
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A truly bizarre first-cycle gull in Downtown Arcata, 4-Jan-2015. I sent these photos around to a good number of top gull experts for ID input, and none of them would touch it with a ten-foot pole!
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4/25/16
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Adult presumed Cook Inlet Gull (Glaucous-winged x American Herring hybrid), Arcata, 17-Feb-2014. This is the same individual as in the community cover photo. Note the "string-of-pearls" extending out into the outer primaries, a Glaucous-winged trait. Some American Herrings in eastern North America, apparently the northernmost breeders, show similar patterns, but most such birds in California show other Glaucous-winged-like traits and presumably are hybrids. This bird was also darker-mantled than a typical American Herring (washed out here, but see the photo above of the bird standing). There remains the possibility that this was a Vega Gull (a Siberian "Herring" Gull), though the mantle seems a bit too pale.
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First-cycle Olympic Gull (Glaucous-winged x Western hybrid), Orick, Humboldt County, CA, 31-Jan-2014.
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Adult presumed Cook Inlet Gull (Glaucous-winged x American Herring hybrid), Arcata, 17-Feb-2014. This is the same individual as in the community cover photo. Note the "string-of-pearls" extending out into the outer primaries, a Glaucous-winged trait. Some American Herrings in eastern North America, apparently the northernmost breeders, show similar patterns, but most such birds in California show other Glaucous-winged-like traits and presumably are hybrids. In the field, this bird was somewhat darker-mantled than a typical American Herring Gull (somewhat washed out in these photos). There remains the possibility that it was a Vega Gull (a Siberian "Herring" Gull), though the mantle seems a bit too pale.
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4/25/16
8 Photos - View album

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First-cycle Glaucous Gull, Arcata, CA, 31-Jan-2014.
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Third-cycle Thayer's Gull, Arcata, CA, 3-Feb-2014.
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First-cycle Western Gull, Arcata, CA, 14-Dec-2014.
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First-cycle American Herring Gull, Arcata, CA, 1-Feb-2014.
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