Gray-hooded Gull

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    Note the pale gray head with a darker edge along the nape and a paler crown and forehead. Also note the pale yellow iris.

    This gull has been hanging around the beach at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY, since at least July 24, and possibly longer. The Coney Island bird is only the second Gray-hooded Gull found in the United States. The species usually occurs in South America and southern Africa.

    ouistitis, and 2 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. joka2000 33 months ago | reply

      Splendid capture!

    2. KilburnieDigital1 [deleted] 33 months ago | reply

      Great set.

    3. feather song 33 months ago | reply

      Striking photos!

    4. Mark Schwall 33 months ago | reply

      Great find and nicely captured John. Strange that he/she is so far out of their territory.

    5. ouistitis 33 months ago | reply

      Excellent ! I like.

    6. GHackettNY 33 months ago | reply

      How does the official bird society prove that this is a "genuine" sighting, i.e. not a pet or zoo escapee?

    7. Dendroica cerulea 33 months ago | reply

      Thanks!

      I'm not sure that can ever be proven beyond any doubt since we have only a brief glimpse into this bird's life. However, gulls tend to wander widely, more so than most other birds, so a free-flying gull is likely to have a wild origin, even if it's far from its normal range. In reviewing a record like this, records committees usually consider a few factors as evidence for wild vs. captive origin, such as:

      1. Are there any known collections of this species in zoos or game farms in the region?
      2. Is the species or family commonly sold in the wildlife trade?
      3. Does the bird show physical evidence of captivity, like color bands or unusual patterns of feather wear?
      4. Is the species migratory or does it have a tendency to wander?
      5. Has the range of the species changed in such a way as to make vagrants more likely than before?

      There may be other factors depending on the bird in question. For this bird, I think the evidence points towards a wild origin. If it were a parrot or finch species, which tend to be more attractive to collectors than gulls, I would think the opposite. Ultimately it will be up to NYSARC and the AOU to decide whether to accept the record.

    8. cindyzlogic 33 months ago | reply

      Great series of shots!! Cute webbed feet :-))

    9. mesquakie8 33 months ago | reply

      Awesome series and bird would love to be able to see it too!

    10. Anita363 33 months ago | reply

      Oh, wow! I clearly need to pay better attention to the mailing lists. Maybe I'll chase this one.

    11. Dendroica cerulea 33 months ago | reply

      Thanks!

      Good luck if you chase it! I'm not sure if it's been seen since yesterday (Thursday) morning, though.

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