Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-0

Common name:

Glaucous-winged Gull

Scientific name: Larus glaucescens
Date: 01-03-05
Time: 2:30 pm
Length of time observed: 15 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: n/a
Location: Bountiful Landfill
County: Davis
Latilong: n/a/
Elevation: 4,500 ft
Distance to bird: 15 ft - 250 yards
Optical equipment: 10x42 Nikon Monarch Binoculars, 20-50x50 Yukon Spotting Scope
Weather: Sunny and Cool
Light Conditions: good lighting
Detailed description of bird: Large, light-winged gull. The under body was completely white, with a "dirty" looking neck. The underwings were very light with greyish Primaries. The gull had a dark eye. When the bird was originally seen it was a flyover in a large flock of California Gulls, Herring Gulls, and Ring-billed Gulls, the obvious light wings stood out. I followed the bird till it landed then immediately got it in the scope. Sitting still I could see the large bill with the red spot, and the extremely light primaries. There were Herring Gulls nearby for a good comparison in how dark the primaries were. On the GWGU the primaries were "about the same as the mantle". When the bird stood up out of the water the pink legs could be seen, at this point it spread its wings to show the completely grey wings and mantle, with similar colored primaries.
Song or call & method of delivery: n/a
Behavior: flying with other gulls, and feeding and preening in open water
Habitat: A city Dump, and freshwater pond.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Glaucous Gull: Wingtips were not white, and the mantle was a darker grey. Also, the neck was far too "dirty", and this bird had a dark eye.

Herring Gull: Primaries were far too light, and the "dirty" neck was of a much lighter color than on a Herring. Gull had a light colored eye,
unlike the yellow eye of a Herring
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen many Herring Gulls, as well as several Glaucous and Glaucous-winged Gulls.
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds and "Gulls of North America , Europe and Asia" by Olsen and Larsson
Description from: From memory
Observer: Tim Avery
Observer's address: 1754 Garfield Avenue
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Ken Behrens from Pennsylvania
Date prepared: 01-03-05    (General Public)
Additional material:  
Additional comments: