Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 15-1999


Common name:

Mew Gull

Scientific name: Larus canus
Date: Sunday, 24 Oct 1999
Time: 3_15 pm
Length of time observed: 45 minutes
Number: 1
Age: 1st year
Sex: ?
Location: North Park, Spanish Fork, Utah
County: Utah
Latilong:  
Elevation:  
Distance to bird: 10 feet
Optical equipment:  
Weather: clear 70
Light Conditions: clear, no clouds
Detailed description of bird: While eating lunch w/wife in parking lot, I remarked how much smaller the gull-like bird was that was flying towards the car from the direction of the pond.  The bird landed in front of the car and stayed there throughout the sighting.  The gull has pink legs and a small pink bill with a black tip.  The primary feathers are dark and extend beyond a dark tail.  the head is round and white w/ no distinguishing markings. The body is white with a grayish back and brownish wings. (8 photos)

 - Observed in parking lot Monday 25 Oct. 1999 w/ several others, 8:20 -  11:00
 - Observed on parking lot Tuesday 26 Oct 1999 w/ Merrill Webb, 8:30 - 9:30

Song or call & method of delivery: I heard the gull "mew"  Monday (24 Oct 1999) while observing in the parking lot.
Behavior: The gull appeared very unwary.  It kept close to the car Sunday - Monday as I took picture the gull did not fly.  The gull walked away from me as I got closer.  While "chumming" the gull, the gull moved more than the California and Ring-billed Gulls.  The Mew Gull walked constantly and was consistently in the front of the group.
Habitat: City park w/ large pond, ball fields & picnic pavilion w/ playground equipment
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Seen with several California and Ring-billed Gulls in the park.  They all were larger, had larger beaks w/ distinct gonydeal angles, and non-rounded heads.
Previous experience with this & similar species: Ring-billed & Californian in Utah and mostly Heerman, Herriing & Western in Ventura, California.
References consulted: Audubon Society Field Guide / picture #35
Birds of NA/NGS
Internet - Patuxent Bird ID/Gull identification / TBRC
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Harold Clayson
Observer's address: 180 West Appleblossom Way, Salem, Utah  84653
Observer's e-mail address: JHClayson@aol.com
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Merrill Webb, Tuula Rose, Milton Moody
Date prepared: 26 Oct 1999
Additional material: 8 Photos  (more are available),   Original Documents
   

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