Thursday, February 24, 2011

Glaucous-winged Gull X Western Gull Hybrid

This hybrid combination is all too common most of the year here on the shores of the Salish Sea. We see fewer of them during the breeding season, but they rest of the year, they outnumber "pure" Glaucous-winged Gulls in many locations. The individual above is a fairly typical example of birds that appear to be more Glaucous-winged than Western, and may well represent second generation hybrids. This bird shows a mantle shade only slightly darker than the typical Glaucous-winged Gull, but the primaries are darker yet. The bill does suggest Western Gull, being fairly heavy and showing a pronounced gonys.

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