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second cycle Thayer's Gull
February
February 12, 2012. Sausalito, California. Photo by Steve Hampton.
This is a typical second cycle bird, although they are highly variable. Note the rather solid, slightly marbled greater coverts, typical on most gull species in second cycle. The amount of adult gray in the mantle is highly variable at this stage.


February 18, 2012. Davis, California. Photos by Steve Hampton.
This individual is showing a nearly complete adult gray saddle, which is more advanced than most Thayer's. Note the spread wing shows the similar dark/light pattern of first cycle, with a hint of the adult pattern coming in.


February 18, 2012. Davis, California. Photo by Steve Hampton.
This bird shows much less adult gray in the mantle, which is more the norm for Thayer's in second winter.

February 24, 1998. San Francisco Bay area, California. Photo by Mike Rogers.
The marbled tertials and greater coverts, as well as the emerging adult gray on the back, mark this as a second year bird. In flight, this bird will be quite pale, with nearly white wings from below.

March

March 1, 2012. Davis, California. Photo by Steve Hampton.
This bird has very bleached coverts and only a little adult gray coming in, giving it a very white appearance.

March 3, 2012. Davis, California. Photo by Steve Hampton.
This bird has even more faded coverts. The mantle is all adult gray (a bit overexposed here).


March 16, 2011. Davis, California. Photo by Steve Hampton.
All gulls are highly variable in second cycle. Even though this bird has little adult gray in the mantle, the marbled pattern on the coverts indicates second cycle, not first. Note it still sports a mostly dark bill and a typical Thayer's primary pattern.