Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2016-07

Common name:

Little Gull

Scientific name: Hydrocoloeus minutus
Date: 05/02/2016
Time: 12:40pm
Length of time observed: 2hrs 24mins
Number: 1
Age: 1W
Sex: Unknown
Location: Powell Lake, Lehi
County: Utah
Elevation: 4,300'
Distance to bird: 10' to 500'
Optical equipment: 8x42 binoculars, 20-60x82 scope, 600mm DSLR lens
Weather: Mosty sunny, with occasional clouds
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: Smaller than average gull
(Description:)       Basic Shape: gull
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: white, gray, and black
(Description:)            Bill Type: tiny dagger-like bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Stunning little bird. I spotted him/her flying when I arrived--that awesome stark wing pattern stood out from a distance.

Smaller than Bonaparte's Gull, shorter bodied, with petite head, tiny bill, deep pink feet, and a speckled head showing an obvious collar and ear spot when in flight.

The wing pattern is typical for 1st winter , with black outer primaries, and leading edge, creating an "M" pattern on the birds wings and back. The trailing edge is white, with a light gray on the mantel and across the secondaries

The tails was really interesting with the outer feathers showing a black tip, while the two inner most feathers were completely white.

eBird Checklist with photos:
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: Flying, feeding, and sitting on the water
Habitat: Freshwater lake/pond surrounded by marsh and suburbs
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
All other small hooded gulls have a different wing pattern.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
2nd I've found in Utah, and I've seen several on the Great Lakes.
References consulted: Sibley Guide to Birds
Description from: From memory
Observer: Tim Avery
Observer's address:  n/a
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Bryan Shirley, and others later in the day
Date prepared: 05/02/2016
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: Ebird checklist: