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Antelope Island Gull

posted by Jeff Bilsky at
on Saturday, December 11, 2010 

Today, near the last bridge on Antelope Island's Causeway, I photographed an interesting Gull. I believe it is a Thayer's Gull but would love to hear some other opinions. Best pics below.

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Anonymous Jerry L said...

That gull sure does look like a Thayer's, maybe a bit darker overall than
normal (or is it just the photo).....and considering how often gulls hybridize,
creates an issue.


December 12, 2010 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Tim Avery said...

The bill seems odd. Lots of pink at the base--I guess they can have this, but I usually don't see any like that in Utah. Really doesn't fit anything else but Thayer's though.

Here are pictures of Thayer's Gulls on my site for comparison.

December 12, 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Ryan O'Donnell said...

As I mentioned on Birdtalk, I agree that this is a Thayer's Gull, probably a second-winter bird, to be specific.

December 12, 2010 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger Tim Avery said...

There has been some discussion about this on Utah BIRDNET. After more pictures were taken I wrote this follow up, with my opinion that the bird is not a Thyer's Gull, but instead a hybrid:

I'm still unsure on this bird. I almost wonder if this might be a Glaucous-winged X Herring hybrid. It would be on the small billed side but the marbling on the head and chest suggest GWGU as a possible parent.

The head shape bothered me for Thayer's gull mainly because it had a "fierce" look like a Herring Gull. The bill is still an issue for any of these. It looks a tad large for Thayer's but way too small for GWGU and smallish for a Herring.

December 30, 2010 at 9:35 AM  

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