As I expected, this was a bit tougher quiz than our last one. The
answers included 5 species of gull, a Northern Fulmar and 1 vote for
“Seagull – our state bird”. Fulmars are not on our Utah checklist and
thus not even an option for the quiz. I guess the same goes for
Seagull, although I did like that answer.
The 5 gull species were: Little Gull, Glaucous Gull, Glaucous-winged
Gull, Thayer’s Gull, and Iceland Gull. Little Gull is the only easy
one to rule out. They always show some sort of gray or black pattern
on the back and head. The other 4 choices aren’t so easy. Gulls are
always tough, and this quiz is even tougher because it doesn’t show
the head or bill. All that leaves us is the color and pattern. Our
bird doesn’t have a gray mantle, so we know it is not an adult bird.
The color is light and uniform, not showing any real contrast on the
wing tips or tail. It is a good idea to look at more than 1 field
guide since they are always a bit different, but for this bird I like
the flight photos of juvenile gulls in the National Geographic.
Compare that page with the photo quiz bird. If our quiz bird was a
juvenile Thayer’s Gull , it would show a darker tail and probably
darker wing tips as well. It would also probably have a bit more
dark/light mottling as well. A juvenile Glaucous would have whiter
wing tips and appear whiter overall. So would an Iceland Gull. I admit
that I don’t have much experience with Iceland Gulls, but I don’t
think an Iceland Gull would have as chunky of a body as this gull
either. That leaves us with a Glaucous-winged Gull – the answer
to this quiz.
Correct answers (in the order received):
Also congratulations to Eric Huish for winning round 1 of the bird
quiz. Eric was the only person to answer all the quizzes correctly.
For winning Eric gets a copy of Advanced Birding by Kenn Kaufman.
Round 2 starts with the next quiz and will end with the June quiz.