Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2016-04

Common name:

Heermann''s Gull

Scientific name: Lanus heermanni
Date: 3/18/16
Time: 9:30am
Length of time observed: 20-30 minutes
Number: 30
Age: Adult
Sex: Unknown
Location: Lone Rock Beach on Lake Powell at Glen Canyon NRA
County: Kane
Elevation: 3000
Distance to bird: 600-800 ft
Optical equipment: Leupold Binoculars 10x50
Weather: Sunny and clear with the sun behind me
Light Conditions: Excellent - sun at my back and fairly low in the sky
Description:        Size of bird: Appeared smaller than the Ring-billed Gulls next to them
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Gull shaped swimming in the lake
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Charcoal Black to Gray with White Head
(Description:)            Bill Type: Orange gull bill - couldn't make out black tip.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Charcoal black wings, flank and tail, Slightly lighter gray breast contrasting with whiter neck and head. White head with orange bill. To far to make-out black bill tip. The dark color made them appear smaller than the Ring-billed gulls swimming along side them, but they were definitely around the same size. To far to make out the white in the tail. Didn't observe any flying.
Song or call & method of delivery: N/A
Behavior: Swimming and behaving like Gulls, head erect, tail pointed out, riding high in the water.
Habitat: Lake
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Western gulls are blacker, have more white in the breast and wings and have yellow bills.
Laughing gulls have either mottled heads and black bills or black heads and orange bills.
To dark to be Ring-billed gulls and to dark and small to be Herring Gulls.
Black-tailed would be even rarer and didn't match any of the features.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've photographed them in California, Oregon and Washington
References consulted: iBird Pro on my phone and Gulls of North America.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Keith Brink
Observer's address: P.O. Box 1902, Page AZ 86040
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 3/20/16
Additional material: No_additional_Materials
Additional_Comments: I have 36 years of birding experience.