Documentation of Short-billed Gull
2011-223

Observer Information

Reporter:  Doug Faulkner 
Other Observers:  Lucia and Gabriel Faulkner; Original reported by Glenn Walbek on same day

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Short-billed Gull
First Date/Time:  10/30/2011
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  about 3 minutes
County:  Douglas
Specific Location:  Chatfield SP marina
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown

Habitat

Boat marina

Viewing Conditions

Optics: 
Distance:  abou 200 meters
Light:  Harsh, with sun to my left when viewing the bird due west.

Description of the Bird

A smallish gull similar in size to Ring-billed Gull, although my only frame of reference was an adult Herring Gull standing nearby which was considerable larger than this bird. The gull was noticeably different than a Ring-billed Gull by having a short, thin, solid yellow bill, a dove-like rounded head with dusky feathering extending onto the neck, a dark eye, and very large white tertial crescent when perched. The mantle color also appeared to be darker gray than I would expect for Ring-billed. Its legs were yellowish.
Behaviors: Perched on tires at the Chatfield SP marina; flew once when startled by a passing boat, but settled quickly back to its original perch.
Call: None heard.
Plumage: adult basic

Similar Species Discussion

Ring-billed Gull was eliminated by the small, think solid yellow bill (lacked a black ring or any other marking) and very large white tertial crescent. Although the eye and mantle coloration were consistent with Mew Gull, I felt like the lighting conditions may have been too harsh and the distance too great to be definitive.

Resources Used

None.

Previous Experience

I have observed Mew Gulls in Colorado nearly winter for the past 12 years.

Notes

Notes made DURING observation

Additional Information

Comments:
Time: late afternoon
Elevation:
Other Dates: None.
Nearest Town: Littleton
Independent Observers: Original reported by Glenn Walbek on same day

Date Documentation Submitted

11/1/2011 8:23:00 PM
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Location Map

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