Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2010-40

Common name:

Western Gull

Scientific name: Larus occidentalis
Date: 02-25-09
Time: 1430 - 1530
Length of time observed: ~ 20 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Location: Farmington Bay WMA
County: Davis
Latilong: 5
Elevation: ~ 4300 ft
Distance to bird:  ~ 20 m
Optical equipment: 20-60x scope
Weather: clear and calm
Light Conditions: clear front lit sunshine
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Large gull with heavy build, large bill, and broad wings. With a white head, nape, neck, throat, chest, belly, undertail coverts, and tail. Dark gray mantle and wings, black primaries with white tips on outer primaries (P7, P8, P9, P10), and bold white scapular and tertial crescents on folded wing. Large bright orange yellow bill with bulbous tip and red gonydeal spot. Eye pale with yellow orbital ring. Legs and feet pink.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: na
Behavior: foraging on dead carp, and roosting on ice
Habitat: Wetland impoundment
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Lesser Black-backed Gull - smaller overall, smaller bill, yellow legs.
Yellow-footed Gull - yellow legs and feet, less white on primaries
Slaty-backed Gull - streaking on head and nape, duller yellow bill, red orbital ring
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from:  
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld, and many other observers
Date prepared: 10-05-10
Additional material: Photos