Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 5-2000

Common name:

Sabine's Gull

Scientific name: Xema sabini
Date: 16 Sept 2000
Time: 12:50 - 15:10 am
Length of time observed: 110 Minutes
Number: 1
Age: Juvenile
Sex: ?
Location: Pangutich Lake
County: Garfield
Elevation: ~8,500 ft
Distance to bird: 60-130 M
Optical equipment:  
Weather: 75 - 80 degrees F, clear, 5-15 mph winds
Light Conditions: Good - no cloud cover; mid-day (sun high)
Detailed description of bird: Small Gull, about 1/2 size of California Gull, with relatively short and thin black bill.

Perched on water, has elegant, small-headed look - sort of like Mew Gull.

Mantle, hindneck & sides of neck and nape are brownish-gray in color. White edging on scapulars give strong scalloped effect. Primaries black, but white edging
sometimes visible.

In flight, shows classic upperwing pattern, with black primaries and brownish-gray coverts & mantle contrasting strongly with white secondaries & inner primaries. Tail notched; white with black terminal band.

(See Drawing and Photos)

Song or call & method of delivery: Song or call: No vocalization observed.
Behavior: Foraged by picking material from water surface or just below; foraged from water surface; flew twice, distance of ~500 m.
Habitat: Open water, 60-100m from shore.
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Immature 1st winter Black-legged Kittiwake, Little Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, or Common Black-headed Gull do not show well defined upperwing pattern of black primaries contrasting w/ solid brownish-gray upperwing coverts & mantle of Sabine's Gull.
Previous experience with this & similar species: I've only seen this species once before - an adult off California's coast in 1994.
References consulted:  NGS Field Guide
Description from: Notes Taken at time of sighting.
Observer: Robert Dobbs
Observer's address: 234 E. Cobble Creek Dr. #4, Cedar City, Utah  84720
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Date prepared: 20 Sept 2000
Additional material: Drawing and Photos

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