American Herring Gull (smithsonianus)

(last update: October 30, 2015)

Amar Ayyash (US)
Bruce Mactavish (Canada)
Dave Brown (Canada)
Mars Muusse (Netherlands)

American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) 1st cycle (2CY), February 21 2015, Brownsville landfill, TX. Picture: Martin Reid.

Overall pale bird lacking the brown texture, and showing an obvious two-toned bill (clearly cut-of black tip, not diffuse). This may indicate some (F2?) influence of hyperboreus; or maybe we face a bird in the very pale end of the spectrum of pure Herring Gull? Note the thin transversal lines on the 2nd gen scaps, lots of white in the central greater coverts and the wide-spaced bars on the undertail coverts; but note the faint thin intervening bars on undertail coverts - not visible at a distance. This is a regular feature of many birds that from afar look to have argentatus/argenteus-like undertail coverts. Tail largely dark.