Jump to content
Whatbird Community

Short-billed Gull?


Recommended Posts

Hi, today in Vancouver. This very far away bird stuck out from the Glaucous-winged drifting with the current as noticeably smaller, but when it flew away it looked bulkier than expected (especially in the head) and had a big translucent patch in the inner primaries on the underside of the wing. Is this indeed a short-billed or have I misidentified please?

First photo is with Glaucous-winged for scale, second a little closer view, third gives bottom of wing, 4th top, 5th is where the bird was by way of explanation how bad the pictures are.

DSCN9040.thumb.JPG.8418b02ebd07a8b61c409f851cbca0da.JPG

DSCN9044.thumb.JPG.95f9c18a45b43d041cdaf04f4e028290.JPG

DSCN9050.thumb.JPG.e92bf29b9e1d65030631bfc03f1c3b66.JPG

DSCN9051.thumb.JPG.3000bf87a11d55dc7efba479c73aad3c.JPG

444407759_DSCN90532.thumb.JPG.07009ca0ef7fdecb9e8a8d140d3dab5d.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, DLecy said:

 

How are you ruling out a 1cy Ring-billed Gull from these photos alone?

I've always thought ring-billed are blacker and mew are browner, and this just felt like a mew to me - looked cuter. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd call that a short-billed. Following Sibley: uniformly brown and low-contrast, brown underneath, brownish flight feathers, short little bill. Ring-billed would be greyer with more contrast overall and especially in the coverts, with blacker flight feathers. Looked at a bunch of photos in Macaulay and that's what I see there too. 

Great example and I'm looking forward to finding out what I'm missing!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adding to that I think the contrast is probably more important than the colour: here's a short-billed of mine from a couple of months ago where the remiges look significantly darker. (But this is more guessing than experience or knowledge.)

IMG_20211129_201831_133.thumb.webp.28ebbb3fa5ac838fd242e956a41e9412.webp

Edited by PaulK
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, DLecy said:

 

How are you ruling out a 1cy Ring-billed Gull from these photos alone?

Compared to the Ringers I see, I would expect the wingtips to be much darker, the bill to look longer, and the mantle to have a bit more blue-gray. I should add I have zero experience with SBGU, and I am just going off field guides and my experience with other species.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, DLecy said:

Here is a good one from today. Marin County, CA. Waaay better looks than your bird. What would people call it? and why?!!?

 

Gull sp. 1:16:22.jpg

Here's my thoughts, I'd love to get feedback for my notes.

1. Certainly a Larus bird based on various factors and giss.

2. It's small, so that leaves three options: Short-billed, Cali, and Ringer

3. It's a 1st cycle by the dark tipped bill

4. Ringer can be ruled out by range and the lack of sharply contrasting dark spots on the coverts and flanks. Also, the wingtips would be darker.

5. Bill length cannot be determined safely due to angle.

6. I see browinish wingtips edged in pale, and a very pale body without any dark or brownish spots. Sibley says SBGU can become very light and worn.

7. Worn 1st Cycle SBGU is my guess.

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Avery said:

Ringer can be ruled out by range

Nice analysis except for this quibble - perfectly fine through the winter down the west coast unless California is being weird again

Edited by PaulK
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, PaulK said:

Nice analysis except for this quibble - perfectly fine through the winter down the west coast unless California is being weird again

Yeah, we do have Ring-billed costaly, though there aren't usually many of them on the immediate coast. Go even a mile inland they are one of the most common gulls.

Edited by Connor Cochrane
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, PaulK said:

Adding to that I think the contrast is probably more important than the colour: here's a short-billed of mine from a couple of months ago where the remiges look significantly darker. (But this is more guessing than experience or knowledge.)

IMG_20211129_201831_133.thumb.webp.28ebbb3fa5ac838fd242e956a41e9412.webp

This bird also has a pale greenish base to the bill, which RBGU almost never show.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Yeah, we do have Ring-billed costaly, though there aren't usually many of them on the immediate coast. Go even a mile inland they are one of the most common gulls.

They’re pretty common by the beach here, but still more common inland. 
 

I don’t know about up by you, but here the most common gull is WEGU, IMO. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/16/2022 at 9:22 PM, DLecy said:

Here is a good one from today. Marin County, CA. Waaay better looks than your bird. What would people call it? and why?!!?

 

Gull sp. 1:16:22.jpg

So @DLecyare we correct? (No rush)

Edited by PaulK
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, PaulK said:

So @DLecyare we correct? (No rush)

Yes! This is a Short-billed Gull. One thing that wasn’t mentioned is the fairly wide white edges to the tertials. I find this to be a pretty reliable field mark. Also, RBGUs at this and age and this time of year, tend to have much more worn tertials. The difference with regards to this mark between the two species is usually apparent, but like all things RBGU/SBGU, caution is warranted.

This particular individual was right near three RBGUs, which provided ample study. I intentionally let them out of the pic.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, DLecy said:

Does anyone know the four letter banding code for Short-billed Gull? I just realized that SBGU conflicts with that of Slaty-backed Gull.

Just looked it up and they're using SBIG

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...