Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 03-2002

Common name:

Little Gull      

Scientific name: Larus Minutus
Date: 12/13/01            
Time: 10:00 AM  
Length of time observed: 2 hours
Number: 1
Age: Adult    
Location: Antelope Island Causeway
County: Davis
Distance to bird: 25 to 30 meters
Optical equipment: 8 1/2 X 44 Swift Audubon
Weather: very windy cloudy
Light Conditions: good
Detailed description of bird: A very small gull that was in among Bonaparte's and Ring-billed Gulls. This was a non-breeding adult. The gull had a small head with a dark, smudgy cap, a black ear spot, dark eye and a black bill. The bird had a pale gray mantle with gray coming up into the nape. Crisp white throat, chest, belly and under tail coverts. Pure white tail rather short. Wings rather short and rounded. Upper wings pale gray with white primary tips and thin white trailing edge. Underwings very dark (black) and again showing white primary tips and thin white trailing edge. 
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: The bird was in among Ring-billed Gulls and Bonaparte's Gulls. The bird was in the shallow water near the Antelope Island Causeway and the bird would fly occasionally down the causeway and again land in the shallow water of the Great Salt Lake next to the causeway 
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Based on size alone the only gull similar is the Bonaparte's Gull. The Little Gull was noticeably smaller than the nearby Bonaparte's with smaller head and paler mantle. The primary wing tip projections of the Little Gull where much shorter than the Bonaparte's and were white. Bonaparte's primary tip projections were long and black tipped. Underwings of Little Gull were black, underwings of Bonaparte's were white.   
Previous experience with this & similar species: First encounter with Little Gull. Very familiar with Bonaparte's
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Terry Sadler
Observer's address: 887 Germania Ave.,   Murray, UT   84123 
Observer's e-mail address: 
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Bob Bond, Mark Stackhouse, David Wheeler, Larene Wyss
Date prepared: 01/08/02  (General Public)
Additional material: 3 photo