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abbreviations, notations, and feather tracts
used in the species descriptions

juv. Thayer's Gull; photo by Don DesJardin

A-spots apical spots; the white spots at the tips of the outermost primaries on adult birds
adult gray the gray across the back and upper wings of adult birds, see the shades of mantle gray page
aur edge the area just beyond the rear edge of the auricular patch
aur auriculars
covs coverts
GCs greater coverts
g-b the gray-brown color on immature gulls (e.g., the freckling on the breast of the bird above); this may vary from sooty gray on Western Gulls to pale coffee on Iceland Gulls
gon gonydeal, in reference to the angle on the lower mandible or the orange-red spot near it on adult birds
greater coverts unless otherwise specified, the upper secondary greater coverts, visible on the standing bird
L&M covs median and lesser coverts
median and lesser coverts unless otherwise specified, the upper secondary median and lesser coverts, visible on the standing bird
Ps primaries
P10, etc. the tenth primary, using the numbering system where P10 is the outermost
Ss secondaries
skirt the white edge of the secondaries visible below the greater coverts on the adult standing bird
subterm subterminal
wing extension the extension of the primaries beyond the tip of the tail on the standing bird
x times; for example, if the bill is 3x eye diameter, that means the bill, beginning at the culmen, is 3 times longer than the diameter of the bird's eye