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 (1CY), October 01 2017, Wheatley Beach, Ontario, Canada. Picture: Kevin McLaughlin.

Known here as "Great Lakes American Herring Gull (GLHG)" in preformative molt (juvenile to first winter).
This gull shows an uncommon first winter scapular type, being a dull gray, some mixed with brown. There are a number of posterior juvenal scapulars remaining as well. The strength of juvenal scapular/covert/tertial spotting is highly variable in this type. Here the spots are quite small, recalling typical second cycle spots. Bill pattern and colour in juvenile-first winter AHG is exceptionally variable, ranging from entirely black to having variable amounts of pink or yellow-orange, with some birds possessing sharply two-toned bills at an early age. Note some pink on the lower mandible here.