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Birds:Slaty-Backed Gull 2007

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 Possible Slaty-backed Gull at Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre


This gull was seen on November 20, 2007 at the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre near Pembroke inRenfrew County, Ontario, Canada. These few stills were video captures. The bird has a fierce look due to the long bill, shallow forehead and dark streak and smudge around the smallish, yellow eye. The legs are very pink and long. The bird was as big as the largest Herring Gull and appeared larger than most. I believe this is a third winter bird or one moving into 3rd winter plumage. The bill is yellowish with a large black area in the middle, unlike most 3rd winter bird photos online. There is a small yellow tip. The head, neck and breast are streaked, the back and wings mostly charcoal coloured with a hint of left-over brown mottling on the lesser coverts. In flight, there is a large white spot on P10, and a sub-terminal 'string of pearls' inside the middle primaries. I expect to send a report to Ontario Birds Record Committee. Please write if you have any comments. (Chris Michener


Chris' comments: Mostly this bird looks good for Slaty-backed Gull to me. A couple of questions I have pertain to the bill colour and colour of back. The bill seems to be slow to develop the yellowish colour with a small black ring as most examples online for this age of bird. The back seems a touch lighter in shade than the many dark adult Slaty-backed Gulls online. Possibly, sub-adult birds can be lighter, especially coming out of 3rd summer plumage? Sibley gives the weight of the SBGU at 3 lbs and HEGU at 2.5 lbs. This may be why the bird seems larger by a touch than most HEGU's at the landfill. I don't see a hybrid in this bird, do you? That's all for now.







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