Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2017-22

Common name:

Little Gull

Scientific name: Hydrocoloeus minutus
Date: 10/22/13
Time: 2:45pm
Length of time observed: 10 min
Number: 1
Age: Juvenile
Sex: n/a
Location: Farmington Bay WMA
County: Davis
Latilong: 40.955141,-111.9191396
Elevation:  4200'
Distance to bird: 25-50 yards
Optical equipment: Pentax ED 8x43, Canon 60D camera with 55-250mm zoom lens
Weather: Sunny and cool
Light Conditions: Clear
Description:        Size of bird: Similar to a Rock Pigeon
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Gull
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  Black and white
(Description:)            Bill Type: Dainty and straight
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Juvenile bird going through first prebasic molt. Dark cap with mostly dark wings and on some upperparts showing some newly molted gray feathers on the back and scapulars giving the upperparts a mottled appearance. Bold M on wings when in flight plus dark secondaries.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None.
Behavior: Feeding in the water as well as flying around.
Habitat: Freshwater.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Only 4 other juvenile gull species will show a black M when in flight:

M in juvenile Bonaparte's is narrower and the secondaries aren't as boldy marked as a Little Gull and the trailing edge of the wing is all dark in juvenile Bonaparte's

The underneath of the primaries on juvenile Black-headed Gull are dark as well as the upper primaries having more extensive white.

Juvenile Ross's Gull doesn't have black on the top of the head.

Juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake has a bold black collar and more extensive white on the upperwing.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Have seen about half a dozen back in NY.
References consulted: Sibley's 2nd edition. Gulls of North America.
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Kenny Frisch
Observer's address: Holladay, UT 84117
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Shyloh Robinson, Matt Pendleton, Mike Hearell.
Date prepared: 4/5/17
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: I just realized that this record never made the UBRC so I am remedying that now.