ICE­LAND V GLAU­COUS GULL

Bird Watching (UK) - - February Id Challenge -

This clas­sic species pair­ing are the two clas­sic ‘white-wingers’, north­ern­ers which ap­pear ev­ery year in small num­bers. They are re­lated to the ‘Her­ring Gull’ com­plex, and in all plumages lack black feath­er­ing, most no­tably in the flight feath­ers. Plumage-wise they are sim­i­lar, so soft part fea­tures, size and struc­ture are key. Here are the key dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures.

Ice­land Gull (1st-w il­lus­trated)

Smaller than Her­ring Gull

Long, at­ten­u­ated wings; lit­tle ter­tial step Com­mon Gull-like small head and soft ex­pres­sion

Short, al­most Com­mon Gull-like bill

Usu­ally less con­trast in bill

Glau­cous Gull (1st-w il­lus­trated)

Larger than Her­ring Gull

Short wings; prom­i­nent ter­tial step

Her­ring Gull-like head and mean ex­pres­sion

Long, par­al­lel sided bill

Younger birds have pale pink bill with black tip

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