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greetings. first post. possible nonbreeding adult ring-billed gull: lake Erie, western new york state; late june; late afternoon / early evening (/prevening). observed in water; flying short distances; walking and laying on dry land (grass); on rocky shore; walking on pavement. body mostly white, some (grey / grey-brown?) mottling on head and neck area; wings mostly grey; tail end mostly dark/black; black/dark eyes; grey(?) feet. information regarding identification of species / subspecies, 'gender', approximate age, all much appreciated. 

20200629_205003.jpg

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This is a Ring-billed Gull. I believe it’s a second cycle (1st summer) bird to the relatively clean appearance, but the all brown wingtips. Ring billed Gull are monotypic, which means there are only one subspecies, and I don’t believe there is anyway to tell what sex the bird is. 

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1 hour ago, Connor Cochrane said:

This is a Ring-billed Gull. I believe it’s a second cycle (1st summer) bird to the relatively clean appearance, but the all brown wingtips. Ring billed Gull are monotypic, which means there are only one subspecies, and I don’t believe there is anyway to tell what sex the bird is. 

thank you for this information. apparently, there is a limit on 'liking' posts, which I've already exceeded today -- apologies; please accept a 'raincheck'.

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3 hours ago, rlp said:

there is a limit on 'liking' posts,

It's a common complaint.  We've decided to think of it as 'quaint'.  

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8 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

This is a Ring-billed Gull. I believe it’s a second cycle (1st summer) bird to the relatively clean appearance, but the all brown wingtips. Ring billed Gull are monotypic, which means there are only one subspecies, and I don’t believe there is anyway to tell what sex the bird is. 

There is a way to determine sex in Ring-billed Gull for some individuals. Males are notably larger than females (as they are in most or all gull species), with longer, thicker beaks. I am away from my references, and I don't know how much overlap there is between the sexes in Ring-billed Gull. Regardless, you'd have to have multiple birds of the two sexes standing next to each other, so....

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now that i've had a bit of time to look into the subject, it seems, from what i've gleaned, (i'm a beginner), that binary differentiation is more comparative than individual, as Tony Leukering has said; in practice, as said by Connor Cochrane, there may be little success in lay differentiation based on casual observance of external characteristics. . .

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. . . in looking into binary differentiation, however, i have learned that there are several observable characteristics (such as bill length, gape curvature, bill tip extension) that may differ for individuals. [the study i reference focused on european herring gulls; it seems reasonable to imagine these and/or other characteristics may also apply to ring-billed gulls.] i'm hopeful such differences, as well as natural markings, and behaviour, might help in differentiating one (or a few) particular individual(s) from the population.

if anyone is interested by the challenge, i have pictures (and possibly video); informed opinions and thoughtful suggestions welcome.

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