2cy American Herring Gulls – 201402

A selection of 2nd-calendar year American Herring Gulls Larus smithsonianus, seen in the southern Lake Michigan region in February 2014.

I was very much looking forward to seeing American Herring Gulls of this age because their plumage is much darker than our European Herring Gulls Larus argentatus argenteus of the same age. I did not come away disappointed.

As ever with Herring Gulls, variation is huge.

Bird #1

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Bird #2

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

In rest it does not look very different from European Herring Gull, but note the uniformly dark colouration on the lower hindneck.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Bird #3

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

A bill with a light-pink base and distinct black tip (Glaucous Gull-like) seemed to be very much the norm.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Bird #4

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

Very much the typical 2nd-calendar year American Herring Gull that I had in mind.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Bird #5

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Bird #6

14 February 2014. Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois, USA.

Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois

Bird #7

14 February 2014. Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois, USA.

Note the broad white tertial tips.

Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois

Bird #8

14 February 2014. Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois, USA.

Interesting individual with replaced tertials and inner greater coverts.

Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois

Bird #9

14 February 2014. Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois, USA.

Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois

Bird #10

14 February 2014. Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois, USA.

Lake County Fairground, Libertyville, Illinois

Bird #11

15 February 2014, North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, USA.

Winthrop Harbor, Illinois

Winthrop Harbor, Illinois

Bird #12

15 February 2014, North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, USA.

Winthrop Harbor, Illinois

Bird #13

15 February 2014, North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, USA.

Winthrop Harbor, Illinois

Winthrop Harbor, Illinois

Bird #13

16 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Bird #14

16 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

Individual with striking white head.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Bird #15

16 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Bird #16

16 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Bird #16

16 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

A dark-chocolate coloured individual, the darkest I have seen during my trip.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

Birds #16 & 17

16 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

Both ends of the spectrum.

BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA

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