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It's coming up on that time of year...

Summer time is approaching and all the lingering sub-adult gulls are beginning to molt. This is the time of year when even the most dependable of field marks will fail us for some individuals.

Feathers wear out. Most birds replace their flight feathers once a year and their body feathers at least once (in many species twice) in a year. In gulls however, birds hatched last year actually end up keeping their feathers for up to a couple months longer than a calendar year. Most immature gulls we see now fledged at the end of June last year, but their molt cycle usually begins in July and August. The previous year’s juveniles always show more feather wear by midsummer than older ...more ↓

Posted on May 30, 2017 01:45 PM by mikepatterson mikepatterson | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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It could be argued that there is no other bird taxon that creates the kind of passion in birders that one will find with gulls and gull identification. Birders either love them or loathe them. The plumage variations within each species, the subtleties in plumage between species, hybridization challenges and a generally unsettled taxonomy all combine to create a seemly impenetrable knot. ...more ↓

Mini mikepatterson created this project on January 19, 2017

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