Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-29(R92)
1992 sighting resubmitted in August 2005
Information for this record is taken from an evaluation of a photograph by Guy McCaskie, dated 15 Apr 1994.

Common name:

Laughing Gull

Scientific name: Larus atricilla
Date: December 1992
Time: ?
Length of time observed: ?
Number: 1
Age: adult
Location: Roosevelt
County: Duchesne
Distance to bird: (photo is very close)
Optical equipment:  
Light Conditions:  
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The photographed gull has the dark mantle typical of an adult Laughing Gull, has a relatively long all dark bill typical of a winter-plumage adult Laughing Gull, has the somewhat indistinct head markings of a typical winter-plumage adult Laughing Gull.  The fresh primaries on an adult Laughing Gull are always tipped with white, but these white tips wear off as the year progresses, with virtually all adult Laughing Gulls in summer lacking these markings. (see the evaluation by Guy McCaskie)  (see photo)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
An adult Bonapart's Gull in December would have a noticeably paler mantle, would have a decidedly smaller and more delicate bill, would have a more prominent black ear-spot, would lack the dusky feathering over the eye and on the upper nape, and would have red colored legs.

A second-winter and adult Franklin's Gull (Larus pipixcan) would both have a somewhat paler mantle, would both have slightly shorter appearing bill, and would both have noticeably more black on the head extending across the nape and around the eyes, and emphasizing the white crescents above and below the eyes.  However, the tail on a second-winter Franklin's Gull lacks black markings, the extent of black on the primaries would match that of the photographed gull, and would have the same white tips as those evident on the photographed gull.

Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from:  
Observer: Keith Day (obtained photos) Guy McCaskie (evaluation of photo)
Observer's address:  
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 30 Aug 2005 (from note and photo provided by Keith Day and evaluation from Guy McCaskie)
Additional material: Evaluation by Guy McCaskie, photograph provided by Keith Day
Additional comments: