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.
To view the rest of the article you'll need to subscribe
. Bird Observer publishes original articles on birding locations, on avian populations and natural history, on regional rarities, and field notes, Massachusetts field records, photographs, and art work.