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Taken on 1-5-2022 in the afternoon on the Los Angeles River between Burbank Channel confluence and the Riverside Dr. bridge in Glendale, CA.

I usually don't attempt to ID immature gulls (and I think this is one).  There were just two gulls standing in the water (a Western and this one) and I'm just curious what this is.  I have a couple guesses, but could be way off.  I looked away to photograph some other birds and was going to come back to this one to get better shots, but when I turned back it was gone.





Edited by Dan P
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In the west, the other bird this one is most likely to be confused with is a Short-billed Gull. It’s not one due to less streaking on the head, particularly the back of the head and nape. Additionally, the bird is molting and its tertials are rather messy looking, whereas a Short-billed Gull’s would appear neater. In better lighting, beak structure and color can also be useful. These are a few of the notions that point to RBGU.

The bird doesn’t have a light eye or yellow legs because it’s not an adult. It’s a 1cy. RBGU. With gulls it’s often best to age the bird before you ID it. This helps narrow down your options.

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10 hours ago, PaulK said:

Thanks everyone - I mis-ID'd it as a second cycle RBGU hence the questions. 

Note the complete adult like 2nd generation covert feathers and the pale eye on a 2cy RBGU. https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/403175991

Remember, they are a 3 year gulls, so a 2cy would appear almost adult-like, sans a strong yellow bill with defined dark ring, and white apical spots on the primaries.

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