Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2011-01

Common name:

Iceland Gull

Scientific name: Larus Glaucoides
Date: 1/8/11
Time: 10:30 AM
Length of time observed: 20 Minutes
Age: 1st Year
Sex: n/a
Location: Great Salt Lake South Shore Marina
County: Salt Lake
Distance to bird: 50 M
Optical equipment: Brunton Eterna 20-60X Scope & Vortex Stokes 8X42 Binoculars
Weather: Partly Overcast
Light Conditions: Partly Overcast
Description:        Size of bird: Roughly the same size as California Gulls in the same field of view & smaller than the Herring Gulls in the field.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Rounded head & smaller shaped. Didn't look as stout as some of the larger gulls.
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: White with brownish mottling.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Small bill that was completely dark/black.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
This was a small, very pale gull with brown mottling on the wings, scaps and somewhat on the chest. If you looked at it with the naked eye, you'd almost think this was a completely white bird. The primaries of the bird were almost purely white. The bird had a completely dark and smaller bill. The size of the bird was that of a California Gull & I compared its size with nearby California Gulls, Herring Gulls, and Ring-Billed Gulls. The structure of the bird reminded me more of a Ring-Billed gull than anything else; it was a smaller, weaker looking gull. This bird immediately struck me as something that I had never seen before.
Song or call & method of delivery: n/a
Behavior: I first noticed the primaries as the bird had its head tucked & was lying down. After about 10 minutes, it started to feed with some of the other gulls (California, Ring-Billed & Herring).
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
1st Cycle Glacous Gull- Smaller sized that Glacous. We had a Glacous fly in about an hour later & noted the size difference. The Glacous dwarfed the California Gulls when we saw it, and the Iceland was about the same size. Also, the bill was smaller than that of a Glacous & was purely black.

1st Cycle Kumlien's Gull- Lighter upperparts that Kumlien's, and the wingtips had no brown or coloration compared to Kumlien's. Also, the bill was completely dark compared to bicoloration of a 1st cycle Kumlien's.

1st Cycle Glacous-Winged Gull- This bird didn't have the grayish overall that a 1st cycle Glacous-Winged Gull has. Bill was smaller and less stout. Bird was smaller than Glacous Winged Gull.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted: Howell/Dunn Gulls of the Americas.
Description from: From memory
Observer: Carl Ingwell
Observer's address: 857 Simpson Ave
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: 1/8/11
Additional material:  
Additional_Comments: I'd like to say hello to the new members of the committee!