Bird Observer: The Birding Journal for New England

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

April 2017

Vol. 45, No. 2

At a Glance: February 2017 Revealed

Wayne R. Petersen


Jim Sweeney

In this issue readers are once again challenged by a gull—a fact made obvious by the combination of the bird’s fairly broad, pointed wings with a strong upperwing pattern set against a medium gray background; an extensive brown back neatly set off from brownish markings on top of the head and behind the eye by a trim white collar; and a rounded white tail showing a narrow, well-defined dark terminal band contrasting with white uppertail coverts. Although in some ways the mystery bird exhibits a vague resemblance to the plumage of certain tern species, its broad wings, the lack of a dark cap or dark scarf around the back of the head, and the lack of a prominently forked tail should at once remove a tern as an identification option.

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