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Common Gull


First Cycle


COMMON GULL (16-18";47-48") canus/heinei

BILL SHAPE: small and slim, smaller than Ring-billed; 2-3x eye diam; gon angle very small; culmen curve gentle, beginning 1/2 way out
HEAD SHAPE: small, dainty, and dove-like
WING EXTENSTION: long; 1.5-2x bill length
BILL COLOR: flesh or dull yellow (blue-gray possible) w/ slightly blurred black outer 1/3; slightly more black on lower mandible blue-gray or dull yellow w/ dark tip or subterm band dull or greenish-yellow; may show dark subterm band w/ brighter yellow tip
LEG COLOR: dull grayish-pink (blue-gray possible) blue-gray to dull flesh greenish-yellow
IRIS/ORB RING: dark dark brown, rarely yellow; orb ring red
HEAD: canus: covered w/ thin dark well-defined streaks or lines; dark crescent in front of eye; pale around bill; aurs streaked; nape and neck sides thickly spotted; henei: lightly streaked except for collar of spots at base of nape, appearing white at a distance streaked over entire head; aurs may appear solid; blotchy on nape and neck sides variable delicate spotting on crown, aurs, nape, and neck sides
UNDERPARTS: canus: white w/ blurry spotting on breast or breast sides; variable mottling down flanks; henei: nearly all white; both subspecies w/ few dark marks at vent sides white; some light smudging from nape may extend to breast sides white
black w/ thin pale crescents possible on tips black; may show tiny A-spots A-spots diminish in size; small A-spot on P9, just before P10; larger A-spots on P6-8
(in flight):
outer Ps blackish; inner Ps pale w/ dark subterm spots; P5-6 may show white tongue between dark subterm spot and g-b base P7-10 black; med to large mirror on P10, possible on P9; black to P5; small tongues possible on P5-7; black on upper P covs extensive black on P8-10; large mirrors on P9-10; small mirror possible on P8; thin black band possible on P5; small white tongues on P5-7
(in flight):
dark w/ pale fringe; underwing covs white w/ thin dark edges, appearing pale as adult; underwing covs largely white adult gray w/ broad white trailing edge
TERTIALS: dark g-b w/ broad pale edges, split by dark shaft at tip, forming broad pale chevron as adult adult gray w/ large white crescent, about 3/4-1x bill length
GREATER COVERTS: solid med g-b, fading to pale g-b by spring adult gray adult gray
LESSER & MED COVERTS: solid med g-b w/ pale fringe, creating a scaled look adult gray adult gray
SCAPULARS: adult gray; may be mixed w/ some brown as adult adult gray w/ small white crescent
BACK: as scapulars adult gray adult gray med-pale on canus, med on henei (w/ gradual cline between?)
RUMP: white; canus may have some V-marks near tail white white
TAIL: white w/ broad black band w/ pale fringe; white outermost webs; canus has some dark on inner webs that may be visible on outer retrices from above white white