Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides), 4cy, 18.1-28.3.2003 Aarhus Harbor

Some believe this is a Kumlien's Gull based on the patterns on the outer primaries together with the strong and heavy appearance, relatively strong bill and the extreme nicotine-brown shawl. However, others find that a heavily pigmented Iceland Gull due to the low quality pictures of especially the flying bird cannot be ruled out.

After seeing this Glaucous-winged Gull in the same harbour I felt some déjà vu because of the fine ‘cross hatching’ in the brown shawl. When the glaucescens and this white-winged gull was seen at close range the brownish breast, neck and head was all covered with fine distinct transverse bars, most prominent in the breast streaking.

Kumliens Gull, 1.2.2003, Aarhus East Harbor, 3 photos. Photographer: Carl Erik Mabeck

Kumliens Gull, 4.2.2003, Aarhus East Harbor, 2 photos. Photographer: Peter Nielsen

Kumliens Gull, 6.2.2003, Aarhus East Harbor, 12 photos. Photographer: Peter Nielsen

Kumliens Gull, 11.2.2003, Aarhus East Harbor, 1 photo. Photographer: Henrik Laust Bøhmer


Kent Olsen said...

Hi Kent,

Based on looking at many Kumlien's Gulls from winter in eastern North America, this bird would stick out tremendously because of the darkness of the head/ neck/ chest shawl and the appearance of the bill. I don't really have a good alternative suggestion, but I don't think that it is one of the same Kumlien's Gulls that we see in the Great Lakes and New England in winter (even with their incredible variability).

Cheers, Tom

Thomas Brodie Johnson
Ithaca, NY

Kent Olsen said...

The small, cute, rounded little head; short stubby little bill; and (extraordinary) long thin primary projection are what I think is classic glaucoides Iceland Gull. The extremities of these features alone almost assure this bird is a glaucoides. The immaturity of the bird is obvious from the bill colour. The head streaking is off the scale for just about any thing in the glaucoides, Kumlien's, Thayer's trio. The brown in the primary coverts and outer two primaries fit in with the theme of the overall over-pigmented nature of this radical bird.

I'd bet on this bird being a glaucoides.


Bruce Mactavish
St. John's, Newfoundland

Kent Olsen said...

Other comments on the Gull Research Forum.