Hotline Photos

Liberty Park Gull

8,9 Nov 2009
Liberty Park
Salt Lake City, Utah

(E-mail from Jerry Liguori, 9 Nov 2009)

I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that the white gull at Liberty Park is an albino Ring-billed Gull. Seems to be too small for an Iceland compared to the other Gulls in the photos and the bill pattern fits. Also there are no dark or dusky markings at all. Even thought the European Icelands are very whitish, I think it's an albino Ring-billed

(E-mail from Tim Avery, 8 Nov 2009)

That is a way cool looking bird. Any all white gull/bird in general is pretty cool looking. However, I am inclined to believe this is a albino/leucistic Ring-billed Gull. The pictures with the California Gulls
shows it more in the size range of a Ring-billed than the larger Iceland Gull, which should be on par with the California's. The tip of the bill is also showing Pink if you look at the larger images. Not sure if it would be to that stage yet on an Iceland Gull, but Cliff can probably expand on that....

Good Birding

(E-mail from Steve Carr, 9 Nov 2009)

Just to add my 2 cents worth, after close, personal examination of the bird in question - a purely albino bird should have more of a pink eye than this bird - it has a pale gray iris. I would expect the bill to be totally pink, without any black. This one has a blackish distal 1/2. These factors might tend toward an Iceland Gull. However, in certain lights, there was a tinge of yellowish in the legs, which would mitigate against the Iceland. Plus, the plumage is pure white without the slightest hint of a pale gray mantle or gray or tan in between the feathers as we'd likely see in an Iceland. The tipping point probably is that this bird is exactly the same size as all the Ring-billeds in the same area, instead of being noticeably 3-4 inches larger if it were an Iceland. Whether is is a pure albino Ring-billed or a partial leucistic Ring-billed is still open to question.

--Steve Carr

         Photos by Jerry Liguori    (More photos, by Kris Van Fleet)

Photos by Jerry Liguori    (More photos, by Kris Van Fleet)

Return to the Utah Birds Home Page