Monday, April 18, 2011

Yellow-legged Gull

The current "mega" that has been lighting up the local list-serv, a probable Yellow-legged Gull that was reported last week in Hyannis, MA and has been seen daily since.  Doing a bit of reading up on this species, it is considered by some to be the European equivalent of our Herring Gull, and is in fact, quite similar, but with straw-yellow legs (I suppose you guessed that from it's name), a slightly darker mantle, and brighter red eye-ring, slightly different bill shape, and a different pattern in the wingtips.  Although not unheard of, it is pretty rare to see it this side of the Atlantic, and kudos to those who noticed and called attention to the minor differences this bird shows. (I note this as a 'probable' Yellow-legged Gull, as this is how the bird is being referred to by those who know better than I. There was some discussion at the beginning of it potentially be a Herring x Lesser Black-Backed Gull hybrid, but I believe at this point most believe it to be a Yellow-legged, and in fact that is how it is being reported to eBird and Rare bird reports)

"Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis

PS - as always click on the photos to see larger versions!

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