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Glaucous-winged Gull
(glaucescens)


IMAGES:

First Cycle
Second Cycle
Third Cycle
Adult


DESCRIPTION:

GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL(24-27";52-54") glaucescens

BILL SHAPE: large and bulky; gon. angle mod. to large; length 4-5x eye diameter; curve to culmen may be steep; first years may have smaller bills
HEAD SHAPE: rather rounded crown; may have small pin-headed look
WING EXTENSION: fairly short; usually half bill length or less
POSTURE/HABITS: usually larger and bulkier than Herring, though females are smaller
FIRST WINTER SECOND WINTER THIRD WINTER ADULT WINTER
BILL COLOR: black; slight pink base to lower mand. possible by spring varies from nearly solid black to pale flesh yellow w/ black tip pale yellow w/ variable dark sides; may show pale gon. spot pale yellow w/ orange-red gon. spot; most have dark smudge above spot on lower mand. and sometimes across upper mand.
LEG COLOR: dirty dark or dull pink dirty pink dirty pink pink
IRIS/ORB RING: dark dark dark brown to pale brown; pale amber is rare; orb. ring reddish to purple
HEAD: uniform g-b, darker than Herring, w/ diffuse smudging; aurs darkest and solid; nape and aur edge may be lighter primarily white; dark smudge in front of eyes; faint fine mottling on crown; may have dusky streaks on nape as adult but w/ extensive smudging over entire head smudged gray over head, neck and upper breast; no streaking
UNDERPARTS: breast mottled, belly uniform sooty gray, about the same shade as the upperparts and wings; undt covs barred lower breast, belly, and vent mottled g-b; belly may be quite solid dark and contrast w/ white flanks; undt covs mottled light mottling on breast and belly white; upper breast smudging often shows delicate horizontal barring at close range
PRIMARIES
(folded):
concolor or slightly darker than rest of wing and body; usually w/ pale edges, sometimes (on paler birds) with crescents large enough to have a dark subterm mark in them, or (on darker birds) w/o pale edges at all pale to med g-b, concolor w/ rest of wing, w/ thin white crescents as adult but w/ little or no A-spots tips adult gray; may be slightly darker than rest of wing but never black; A-spots larger that eye, but A10 same as eye
PRIMARIES
(in flight):
solid gray, concolor w/ rest of wing; paler and silvery from below quite pale above, making a white flash at base of Ps; virtually white from below similar to adult but smaller A-spots, mirrors, and tongues "black" areas are charcoal, slightly darker than mantle; large mirror on P10; small mirror rare on P9; thin to large blurred white tongues on P5-9; pattern light gray from below
SECONDARIES
(in flight):
similar to Ps ... as adult adult gray w/ white trailing edge; gray area shows light contrast from below; shows white skirt when standing
TERTIALS: same color as Ps; usually w/ large pale tip or subterm crescent; paler birds may have pale notches on sides pale g-b, concolor w/ Ps, w/ irregular white subterm marbling as adult adult gray w/ white crescent about 2/3 bill length
GREATER COVERTS: variably to mostly solid g-b w/ thin pale horizontal marbled lines w/ pale fringe and subterm spot; inner feathers more spotted pale g-b, speckled w/ tiny white spots, appearing marbled; often gray by 2S adult gray adult gray
LESSER & MED COVERTS: pale cream w/ med g-b sub-term marks, appearing mottled as greater covs, w/ wome adult gray color possible adult gray adult gray
SCAPULARS: as coverts, but w/ larger pale areas or adult gray, appearing paler and muddier as coverts, w/ more adult gray; may be all adult gray as adult adult gray w/ white crescent about 1/3 bill length
BACK: g-b, irregularly marked w/ pale fringes or adult gray; nearly uniform muddy look adult gray w/ brown areas and pale fringes adult gray adult gray is med gray, darker than smithson, lighter than californicus
RUMP: pale w/ irregular g-b bars white w/ some speckling white white
TAIL: solid gray as primaries, concolor w/ back; often w/ pale fringe; outermost webs rarely barred; may show mottled bases to outer retrices from below solid pale g-b; may show extensive pale mottling to bases of outer or all retrices white w/ jagged dark gray subterm band; outermost webs white white

The was table created by Steve Hampton and is intended to futher our knowledge of gull identification. Please email me at shampton@ospr.dfg.ca.gov if you have any suggestions for updating or improving this table. Thanks.