Kit Carson perplexing hybrid gull
This evening around 17:30, I happened upon a very interesting gull that is almost certainly a hybrid. I am not the world's leading expert on gulls by any stretch, so would urge others to hopefully find and study this bird for themselves, but I see many ID points that appear, to me, to be in favor of Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull, as opposed to the much more expected (although still rare) Western x Glaucous-winged Gull. The bird had bold and crisp brown streaking on the head, neck and nape, a light gray mantle, stark white tertials, and jet black primaries that, if anything, faded to a slightly less dark black at the tips. It also had bright pink legs and feet. All of these things seem to align for the proposed hybrid pair. The mantle color, head and nape streaking, and the solid black primaries discount the likely hood of Western x Glaucous-winged ***in my experience, which is limited to only a few individuals and some amount of computer study time. Perhaps the oddest characteristic that seems out of place on this bird is what appeared in the field as a red-orange orbital, which is barely distinguishable in the photos unfortunately. The photos are screen shots from a video that I took with my iPhone 11. I do not claim to know the identity of this bird. I simply used my best deductive reasoning, and to my best am keeping in check with myself based upon my limited experience here. Either way, very neat bird and I hope someone else can find it and study it.
Cape May, NJ
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports