Utah Winter Gulls

by Dennis Shirley

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

     Mew Gull
  (similar species)

Breeding Adult - unmarked yellow bill, gray mantle, tertial fringes,
extensive white mirrors on black wing tips, pinkish legs
Photo by Jack Binch   ©Jack Binch

Non-breeding Adult - gray-brown mottling on the head and neck,
extensive white mirrors in black wing tip (all seasons)
by Kent Keller   ©Kent Keller

1st Winter Mew Gulls - softly mottled with gray-brown above and below and show a variable
amount of pure medium-gray on the back , there is often a dark smudge in front of eye.

   Photo by Paul Higgins   ©Paul Higgins

1st Winter Mew - tail is mottled pale gray and has an indistinct grayish-brown terminal band
by Paul Higgins   ©Paul Higgins

Mew Gull

Similar Species
   Ring-billed Gull - First-winter Ring-billed Gull but has whiter and more heavily spotted underparts; the wing and tail patterns more distinct; the bill is stouter (note that the European Mew Gull, which occurs casually on East Coast, has slightly larger, stouter bills more like Ring-bills.  2nd winter and adult Ring-billed Gulls have a paler gray mantle, pale eyes, and a distinct black band on a pale bill.
   Thayer's  - Immature Thayer's Gulls are larger and have paler wing tips; first-winter Thayer's Gull has an entirely black bill.
   California & Herring -  are much larger, with longer, heavier bills.


1st winter Ring-billed - under parts whiter and more heavily spotted , bill stouter
   Photo by Ted Fitzgerald   ©Ted Fitzgerald

1st Winter Ring-billed - wing and tail patterns more distinct, bill stouter than Mew.
by Kent Keller   ©Kent R. Keller

Winter Adult Ring-billed (in front) - is larger, has ring on bill, lighter mantle,
less distinct tertial fringes, and the Mew Gull (behind) has a small slender unmarked bill
and more extensive white in the wing tips..
by Jack Binch   ©Jack Binch

Winter Adult Mew Gulls - has a more prominent white tertial fringes (white crescents)
than does the Ring-billed Gull..
by Josh Kreitzer   ©Joshua Kreitzer

1st Year Thayer's - is larger,  has paler wing tips and entirely black bill
by Richard Young   ©Richard B. Young

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