Utah Winter Gulls

by Dennis Shirley

General Information  |  Gull Identification  |  Immature Gulls  |  Key to Adult Gulls  |  Species List  |

     Glaucous-winged Gull
  (similar species)

Breeding Adult - brown eyes;
Head and bill appear smaller than the similar Herring Gull.
Photo by Jack Binch   ©Jack Binch

Non-breeding Adult - has much gray-brown mottling on the head, neck, and chest;
and more extensive mottling than in Western Gulls
by Pomera M. Fronce   ©Pomera M. Fronce

1st Winter - black bill, paler mottling than Western, and pink legs
by Rick Fridell   ©Rick Fridell

1st Winter - primaries are very pale gray-buff, becoming whitish at the tips.
by Rick Fridell   ©Rick Fridell

2nd Winter - may be very whitish.  gray mantle color begins to appear;
wing coverts, head, breast and tail are mottled grayish-buff; bill less black at base
by Milt Moody   ©Milton G. Moody

Glaucous-winged Gull

Similar Species
   Western Gull - Glaucous-winged Gulls are similar to Western Gulls in all plumages but are paler; the wing tips are never blackish; adult Glaucous-winged Gulls show more mottling on head, neck, and chest in winter and have a darker mantle and primaries than the Westerns.  Intergrades between Western and Glaucous-winged numerous in Pacific North west.
   Thayer's Gulls - are usually smaller, with smaller, thinner bill and slightly darker wing tips; however; Glaucous-winged intergrades have darker primaries like Thayer's. Immature Glaucous-winged are "smudgier-looking" overall than Thayer's at rest; the primaries are the same color as or slightly paler than rest of wing, not slightly darker as in Thayer's
   Glaucous Gulls - are heavier and have whiter primaries than Glaucous-winged Gulls; Immature Glaucous Gulls have black bill tips that are sharply cut off from pinkish to flesh-colored basal two-thirds of bill.


Adult Western  - has a darker mantle and primaries with blackish wing tips.
   Photo by Joel Beyer   ©Joel Beyer

Adult Thayer's - usually smaller, with smaller, thinner bill and slightly darker wing tips
by Jack Binch   ©Jack Binch

1st Year Thayer's - Immature Glaucous-winged are smudgier
overall than Thayer's especially at rest.

by Richard Young   ©Richard B. Young

1st Winter Glaucous Gull  -  is heavier with whiter primaries,
Immature with sharply defined black tip of bill.
   Photo by Paul Higgins   ©Paul Higgins

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