Documentation of Iceland Gull

Observer Information

Reporter:  David Dowell  3721 Staghorn Dr,   Longmont, CO  80503
Other Observers:  none

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Iceland Gull
First Date/Time:  12/18/2015 3:50:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  12/18/2015 4:30:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  10 minutes
County:  Arapahoe
Specific Location:  Aurora Reservoir
Number:  1
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Non-breeding


large reservoir near landfill

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  scope, binoculars, camera
Distance:  as close as 300 feet
Light:  full sun late in the day, bird viewed from multiple angles

Description of the Bird

bird seen on water with Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gulls, and Canada Geese, and then seen in flight
size between that of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls
gray color of upperparts similar to that of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls
"dainty" appearance with "cute" round head
pale iris (comparable to Ring-billed Gulls)
small yellow bill with red gonys spot
some streaking on head and neck
folded primaries mostly white with some pale/medium gray markings (somewhat washed out in photos)
wingtips in flight mostly pale with very limited gray along edges and near tips of primaries
bird looked much like that in Howell and Dunn's photo 35A.5

Similar Species Discussion

Thayer's Gull would have dark iris and black markings on primaries.
Glaucous Gull would be larger, larger-headed, larger-billed, and with no gray markings on primaries.

Resources Used

Howell and Dunn Gulls of the Americas
Sibley Guide to Birds

Previous Experience

four years of experience observing gulls, including Iceland (Kumlien's), Thayer's, and Glaucous Gulls


Notes made DURING observation

Date Documentation Submitted

12/23/2015 9:20:00 AM
Click left or right edges of photos to move through all; click outside image to close

Location Map

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2) No specific coordinates are available but the location is mappable.
3) A generic location with no specific coordinates is mapped to the center of the reported county.

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