Sunday, January 24, 2021

Olympic Gull

Hybrids between Western and Glaucous-winged gulls, known as Olympic Gulls, are abundant in Puget Sound. I am finding gull identification to be a challenge, but this bird’s back seems to be darker than a Herring Gull, but not dark enough for a Glaucous-winged. Herring Gulls would sport bright yellow eyes, unlike the relatively dark eye on this bird. I took this image because the bird sat close by at the Billy Frank Jr. National Wildlife Refuge on 19 January 2021. Most interesting on this bird is the bill is crossed. The bill tips clearly do not meet. Occasionally birds with crossed bills are encountered. This deformation must surely interfere with efficient food capture and feeding, although this individual has successfully reached adulthood.

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