California Gull

Larus californicus


eBird Checklist S54609768
Branched Oak SRA
Lancaster, Nebraska, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 40.9704, -96.8677 Map


Media notes

Observation details

No pale window on primaries, dark trailing edge of secondaries,1st cycle bird, larger size than ring bill gulls. pictures to come More details added after downloading photos: This is a Herring-like 1st-cycle gull that lacks pale inner primary windows, which rules out American Herring and is spot-on for California Gull. The rest of the upperwing pattern is also classic California Gull: dark secondaries and dark greater covert bases, separated by a band of pale greater covert tips, form a double dark trailing edge. This bird also has the distinctive California Gull face pattern, with a dark "bandit mask" around each eye. The dusky bill is very unexpected on a 1st-cycle California Gull, especially this late in the season. In California, nearly all have neatly bicolored bills by November, and I don't think I've ever seen one with a bill this dark after December. However, all other features on this bird are perfect for California Gull, and I'm confident that's what it is. I really can't make it be anything else. (This makes me wonder if 1st-cycle California Gulls from the eastern part of the breeding range (presumably subspecies 'albertaensis') tend to be darker-billed than the birds from farther west that winter in California.)

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