[Tweeters] possible Iceland Gull at mouth of Cedar River

Northwest birding e-mail tweeters at u.washington.edu
Mon Jan 18 19:17:12 PST 2021

Hey tweets,

It seems like this bird has been around for quite some time now and at this
point has been photographed quite a bit. I’ve seen this bird consistently
identified to multiple species/hybrids (like Glaucous, Glaucous x Herring,
Kumlien’s Iceland, and Glaucous-winged x Glaucous) and yet there has never
appeared to be a really solid ID on this bird. The general consensus
amongst reviewers, or at least the one who confirmed it, seems to be that
this is Glaucous-winged x Glaucous Gull (hybrid). However, many other
experts believe that this is just a Glaucous-winged with pigment issues and
not a Glaucous-winged with any other species in it (except maybe Western
just because).

I am no gull expert myself and don’t have any experience with
Glaucous-winged x Glaucous, but i’d have to say that this is likely just a
Glaucous-winged with pigment issues. The structure is pretty typical for a
Glaucous-winged/Western type bird (not that that’s a big deal) and the
weird brown tones and faint mottling all point towards a bird with pigment

Here’s a better explanation by Nick Mrvelj:

“Interesting gull. At first glance, I thought this was a good candidate for
a GWGU x GLGU. However, after a deeper dive, I feel that Emily may be on to
something in regard to this individual having a pigment issue. I agree that
the hue of the mantle and primaries just seems a bit off for a Seward Gull;
the former a bit too pale and oddly mottled and the latter a weird pale,
brownish hue (which translates to me as primaries that should look blackish
but have a melanin deficiency). The size and shape of the bill seems good
for an Olympic Gull (or even a Western Gull or GWGU). I wonder if the iris
has a similar pigment issue, which is why its so pale? The coloration of
other bare parts, like the legs and bill, seem normal.”

All that being said, I am no gull expert, but it appears that this gull
isn’t going to have a solid ID anytime soon.

- Alex Sowers

On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 6:55 PM Northwest birding e-mail <
tweeters at u.washington.edu> wrote:

> I saw a bird that fits Odette's description in October at the Cedar River

> mouth. In addition to what Odette described the bird has yellow eyes. I

> have some poor digiscoped photos here:

> http://www.birdingwashington.info/Pics/gull


> If you right click on an image and select "View Image" you can see the

> photo at full size.


> Odette has seen these photos and thinks it may be the same bird.


> Does anyone have an idea what it is?


> Thanks,


> Randy Robinson

> Seattle, WA

> rwr DOT personal AT gmail DOT com


> > On Jan 18, 2021, at 12:46 PM, Odette B. James <o.b.james...> wrote

> >

> >The possible Iceland Gull has returned to the delta of the Cedar River at

> >the south end of Lake Washington. It is with other gulls on a patch of

> >gravel exposed among the logs on the submerged delta. The bird has a very

> >pale mantle and pink legs, is an adult (has red gonydeal spot on bill),

> is

> >smaller than nearby Glaucous winged, has no streaking on back and sides

> of

> >neck. There at 12:30 in the afternoon on Jan. 18.



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