Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 1a-1998

Common name:

Iceland Gull

Scientific name: Larus glaucoides
Date: 29 Mar 1998
Time: 1 to 2 PM
Length of time observed:  
Number: 1
Age: First year immature
Location: Bear River MBR.
County: Box Elder
Distance to bird: 50 feet  to 150 yards
Optical equipment: 15 to 60 Celestron scope, 10 x 40 Zeiss Binocs
Weather: Overcast strong north wind
Light Conditions:  
Detailed description of bird: This gull was a pale mottled brown.  the primary wing feathers were unmarked and a little lighter than the rest of the bird, the tail was marked but no darker thatn the rest of the body, the bill was dark over the entire length but darkest near the tip and fading to a lighter gray near the head, the legs were pink and the eye dark.
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
     I saw the gull twice.  The first time for about three minutes after which I identified it as a first year glaucous because it was a perfect match except for the bill for an immature glaucous pictured on page 140 of "The Golden Guide to Birds of North America".  However the bill color bothered me and I stayed in the area and kept looking in my books and found a picture of an immature Iceland Gull on page 153 of the "National Geographic Field Guide" that seemed to match my gull.  After about 30 minutes the bird came back and landed about 50 feet from me and I was able to make what I consider to be a positive ID.  Of all of the other possibilities the immature were either much darker or had darker primaries than the rest of the birds.  I looked at the check lists for birds for Bear River and for Utah and the Iceland Gull is not on them but because of the bill I think my identification is right unless some one can show me that the glaucous immature can also have an all dark bill instead of a bill with a black tip and an almost white base. 
Previous experience with this & similar species:  
References consulted: The Golden Guide to Birds of North America & National Geographic Field Guide
Description from:  
Observer: Cal Ribbins
Observer's address: 181 W 1950 S, Bountiful, Utah  84010
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Date prepared: 29 Mar 1998
Additional material:  
  [Information in this form is from a letter to Ella Sorensen]

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