Jump to content
Whatbird Community
Sign in to follow this  
pcon2009

Gull in northeast Ohio

Recommended Posts

Among several other gulls which I am confident were ring billed, I observed this other gull in northeast Ohio yesterday. Consulting my field guide, I want to say it is a Thayer's Gull, although the map in the guide doesn't show them in this specific area; however, it does show them in Lake Erie, which I am about 35 miles south of (straight line). My reasoning is that legs are pinker than a herring gull, and the black on the primaries would rule out Iceland gull. The red spot on the bill would rule out ring-billed (which is what this bird was flocking with). Any thoughts on this bird?

Gull1_sm.png.85c7d00e92b9a4d84554a728b8be2be1.png

Gull2_sm.png.f8607078325dd08033b3f68c9b25318c.png

Gull3_sm.png.229b6361850a6237a52e685d0722d457.png

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks good for Herring Gull. Thayer'susually have dark eyes, although they can have pale eyes, but even the pale-eyed individuals there is a little dusky flecking in there. This bird has bright, clean golden irises.Bill is pretty hefty as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, AlexHenry said:

Looks good for Herring Gull. Thayer'susually have dark eyes, although they can have pale eyes, but even the pale-eyed individuals there is a little dusky flecking in there. This bird has bright, clean golden irises.Bill is pretty hefty as well.

Would the Herring Gull tend to have legs this pink, and no black flecks on bill in winter? Certainly not disagreeing with you that it looks good for Herring, just looked to me more like Thayer's (which, I just found out was in 2017 re-classed as a subspecies of Iceland Gull, not it's own species outright as shown in my field guide).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think color of legs is a very reliable way to distinguish between Herring and Thayer's as they both have pink legs. I would expect Thayer's to have more dusky marking on the head and breast, but that also is not a very reliable way to tell them apart.

The shape of the bill on this bird seems pretty massive and predatory, Thayer's bill is more slender. In the first picture, there appears to be some black above and to the left of the red spot on the bill, which suggests Herring to me. The iris color is a big feature in support of Herring.

Here is a photo of a Thayer's Gull's head. Note the dusky flecking in the iris (and this individual has a significantly paler eye than average for Thayer's), and also how slender the bill is relative to the bird in the picture you posted:

36585905_DSCN2790(2).thumb.JPG.18ea67319ff96db9165ee4a779db6a23.JPG

Compared to your bird - note eye color and the relative size and shape of the bill:

herring.png.ea3c363c02974f374745d3d585a964ab.png

I may be wrong, but the bird you posted looks like it has a heavy, Herring-type bill and a very pale iris. I would also point out that Herring are more common than Thayer's in your area, although Thayer's are certainly present around the lower Great Lakes this time of year.

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the second photo you can see the underside of the right wing-tip.  It is almost completely black.  Thayer's/Iceland would be mostly white, with small black spot.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adult Thayer's, as in the pic provided by AlexHenry, generally has a bicolored bill, with the area beyond the gonys being yellow and the rest having a gray or olive cast, at least in winter.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...