Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) at Jordan Lake, Chatham Co., NC

Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)

This Herring Gull-sized bird was found off the Farrington Road bridge on 2/15/2004 by Haven Wiley and his avian biology class from UNC. I photographed it on 2/17 in fairly dim, snowy conditions. Though initially identified as an Iceland Gull, with closer study the consensus is that it's a Glaucous.

This is only the second report of Glaucous Gull for Jordan Lake and the first to be documented.

It can be difficult to tell large male Iceland from a small female Glaucous. Features that point to this being a Glaucous include the length and depth of the bill, the relatively short projection of the wing tips past the tail, and the large head relative to the eye. In my limited experience, Glaucous Gulls give me the impression of looking "mean", while Iceland Gulls are "cute". The Jordan Lake gull is definitely on the "mean" side.

All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted.