Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2006-4

Common name:

Heermann's Gull

Scientific name: Larus heermanni
Date: April 4, 2006
Time: 12:00 - 12:20
Length of time observed: 20 minutes
Number: 1
Age: second year
Sex: unknown
Location: Sand Hollow State Park
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~4000 ft
Distance to bird: 50 m
Optical equipment: Zeiss Diascope 20-60x
Weather: Extremely windy
Light Conditions: mid-day overcast
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Overall small to medium sized gull, slightly larger than nearby Ring-billed Gulls. Observed sitting on the water with a flock of 20-30 Ring-billed and California Gulls. Overall dark chocolate
brown body and head including underparts, mantle and most of wings.
Wings dark brown with darker blackish primary tips and white trailing edges, appearing as small off-white crescent on folded wings. Head slightly lighter than wings and body, with slight white mottling on cheek on top of head. Bill relatively long, bright red with dark tip.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: There were 100's of gulls at Sand Hollow on April 3rd and 4th, including Ring-billed, California, a few Herring, 2 Franklins, and this Heermann's Gull. These numbers of gulls are very rare in Washington Co., and likely resulted from a large front and sustained high winds throughout sw Utah.
Habitat: sitting on choppy water surface of Sand Hollow Reservoir
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Very distinctive gull; no similiar species
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Second I've seen in Washington Co., commonly observed on coast
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer's address: 3505 West 290 North, Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 9-26-06
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: Photos taken in high winds through through scope with Olympus Camidea digital camera