Ok, here are a few young ones …
This is a bird that I pointed out to Art Clausing who I ran into while birding the park for about 45min. I still believe that this is a first-cycle Thayer’s Gull.
Now, this bird, on the other hand, I was not able to id as a Thayer’s. First off, it was rather large compared to its buddies around it. While the bill is not huge and might fit the large end of Thayer’s, look at the primaries: They are pretty much the same color as the rest of the bird. I’m pretty sure, that this bird has Glaucous-winged in it.
This bird was the reason for my trip that day, a first-cycle Glaucous Gull, first reported by the Hinkle twins. Watch for the bicolored bill and crisp demarcation between the black and pink areas in the bill. A no-brainer.
This diminutive bird looks perfect for a first cycle Thayer’s Gull.
I’m going to finish up with another adult. What’s wrong with calling this a Herring Gull? The smudging on the head/neck just looks real olympic to me. This bird sure looks like a Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull.
Westmoreland Park is one of the premier locations in the US in winter to get real close to ducks and geese. Here are some shots from yesterday, a dreary afternoon where the gulls were performing.
Here the first subject, a Western Gull. Check the iris of this bird. It does NOT seem to have any pink in it, therefore eliminating a hybrid.
This drake Eurasian Wigeon is pretty obvious, right? Not so fast. There is a green layer extending back from the eye. This was most visible in certain angles, not so much in the one shown below. Pure Eurasian Wigeon can apparently show quite a bit of green behind the eye. Everything else about the bird is Eurasian, even its call was Eurasian, not American.
The bird below was pretty interesting: The light iris really sticks out. I found the Slaty-backed Gull! Not so fast … This 3rd cycle bird is just not dark enough, the legs aren’t fleshy enough and the streaking on the head is just not crisp enough. But what is it if not some kind of Olympic mix?
Ok, now finally an easy one. This is a picture-perfect adult Thayer’s Gull. All the field marks are perfect: Rounded head (pigeon-like look), small bill, overall smaller size (even though that’s hard to see if you have nothing to compare against), …
This Rough-legged Hawk was one of two birds along Bruce Rd at Finley NWR. Note the feathered legs and the characteristic way of perching on the tiniest of branches.