Posted by: atowhee | July 12, 2010

What Was That Gull?

Did we truly have a Slaty-backed Gull down in Monterey last month?  One large gull sure had us going. But the man who knows, Mr. Monterey Birding, Don Roberson, sent us this gentle but firm correction after he viewed our photos.

“Thank you for sending me the link to the photos.

“In my opinion your gull is a male Western Gull of the local population. Back color is the same as the local breeders, and the size, chest and bill are all characteristic of males (larger than adult females). I do not see a single character that suggests Slaty-backed. See my page on this topic, and links to more extensive information.

Nothing in North American birding is more humbling than sorting out gulls so it’s always good to get expert help if images are available.  And some gulls, those puzzling hybrids, you may never know…

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