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Mew Gull (brachyrhynchus)


First Cycle


MEW GULL(16-18"; 47-48") brachyrhynchus

BILL SHAPE: small and slim; smaller than Ring-billed; 2-3x eye diam; gon angle very small; culmen curve gentle, beginning ½ way out
HEAD SHAPE: small, dainty, and dove-like
WING EXTENSTION: 1.5 - 2 x bill length
POSTURE/HABITS: often flies low over water, picking at the surface with its bill
BILL COLOR: flesh w/ slightly blurred black outer 1/3, outer ½ on lower mand blue-gray or flesh w/ blurred dark tip pale yellow; often w/ faint dark subterm band (esp on lower mand) w/ brighter yellow tip
LEG COLOR: pink to grayish pink (blue-gray possible) blue-gray to dull flesh greenish-yellow to dirty yellow or mustard
IRIS/ORB RING: dark dark dull yellow or amber to brownish (pale yellow rare)
HEAD: covered w/ blurred g-b streaks; pale near bill; aurs fairly solid; aur edge palest; may appear mottled streaking or spotting over entire head, denser around nape to breast sides; appears more white than adult lightly streaked on forehead, spotted on crown; variable smudging over rest of head, neck, and upper breast; center breast usually clean
UNDERPARTS: center breast pale; sides, flanks, and belly extensively mottled, w/ belly often solid g-b; vent thickly barred extensive mottling on breast; upper belly variable; lower belly white white; breast markings may extend down flanks
dark brown or blackish w/ thin pale edges forming crescents blackish w/ hint of pale A-spots A-spots diminish in size; A5 larger than eye; A6 the same as eye; A8 tiny; none on A9-10 (together)
(in flight):
outer Ps dark brown, though w/ paler inner webs; inner Ps pale w/ dark subterm spots P9-10 mostly black; black tips and longer black outer webs on P5-8; variable mirrors on P9-10; black on upper P covs limited black on all Ps; larger mirrors on P9-10; large white tongues on P5-8; thin black band possible on P5
(in flight):
dark brown w/ pale fringe; underwing covs mostly med g-b as adult; underwing covs white w/ extensive brown edges adult gray w/ broad white trailing edge, about 3/4 bill length
TERTIALS: med to very dark g-b w/ pale edges; may include pale areas near shaft at tip as adult, but may have dark markings adult gray w/ large white crescent, about 3/4 to 1 times bill length
GREATER COVERTS: pale w/ single row of g-b subterm spots; fading to all white by summer adult gray adult gray
LESSER & MED COVERTS: med g-b w/ pale fringe, creating scaled look adult gray adult gray
SCAPULARS: adult gray w/ hints of g-b and pale fringes when fresh as adult adult gray w/ small white crescent, about 1/3 bill length
BACK: as scapulars adult gray adult gray is med gray, close to Calif Gull, same as Kamchatka
RUMP: white w/ extensive dark V-marks or irreg bars white white
TAIL: solid dark g-b w/ pale fringe; bases of outer retrices slightly paler white w/ irreg broken black band or subterm marks white