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November 25, 2017

Birds of the Week – American Herring Gull

The largest gull In Interior Alaska, slightly larger than the Glaucous-winged Gull, is the Herring Gull. This is a highly variable species, and ornithologists disagree on how many species and subspecies there are, and even what its name should be.

American Herring Gull, Tangle River, Denali Highway

American Herring Gull, Tangle River, Denali Highway

A big gull with pink legs and a honking big bill, it has black first and second primaries with white “windows” and a white tail, making it easy to distinguish from the similarly-sized Glaucous-winged Gull.

The Herring Gull is another four year gull, resulting in a truly bewildering series of plumage changes. The International Ornithological Union and the American Ornithological Union are in sharp disagreement – fist fights in the lobby, that sort of thing – about the taxonomy of this bird. The I.O.U. thinks are Herring Gull in the Bering Sea is a Vega Gull, not a Herring Gull. The A.O.U. mutters about subspecies. But this is probably more than you want to know.

For more bird photos, please visitΒ Frozen Feather Images.




13 Responses to “Birds of the Week – American Herring Gull”
  1. CorningNY says:

    Off topic, but I tried to look at The Immoral Minority blog just now and couldn’t get to it–Blogger wanted me to sign in as author! Is anyone else having this problem?

  2. mike from iowa says:

    Here is how Snooki Palin’s best friend from South Dakota Annette Bosworth-MD,Grifter,Wingnut candidate for US Senate gets donations to do her medical missionary work overseas. Chad Haber is her husband/manager/partner in crime and Joel Arends is her personal attorney. Bosworth is being investigated for perjury,raffle scams,not paying her employees,etc.,etc. Bosworth and her hubby both claim she is god’s chosen one.

  3. Dagian says:

    Ground temps are a bit lower than average here too so it means that my hay supplier had to dig into the furthest reaches of various barns to scrape together some fair-to-middling hay until he can start cutting and baling this year’s crop. Wish we could send some of our rain to California – that’s a scary situation in so many ways. Fires and huge swaths of agricultural land still suffering from a drought that won’t quit.

    • mike from iowa says:

      Do you use round bales or big/small square bales? Baled thousands and thousands of bales of alfalfa,grass and clover hay.Plus straw bales for hog bedding. πŸ™‚

  4. mike from iowa says:

    I shot a sea gull in the air and critter-bombed Mitt Romneycare. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Eighty and sweaty today. All frostbit spuds have recovered and are doing well. Peach tree is just now putting out leaves. I gather that between Alaska Pi,Benlomond 2 and moi,we are the only ones with gardens. Beth-are you out there?

  5. mike from iowa says:

    I’m guessing that dang bird has posed long enough and is prolly hungry.

  6. mike from iowa says:

    Not sure why iowa,of all places,gets shore birds. We get gulls,terns,pelicans corrmorants and ducks and geese,but there aren’t any large bodies of water near me. We don’t have glacier bears,either,but there were glaciers here at one time. Be glad black flies don’t get as big as horse fies.

  7. Zyxomma says:

    Infighting among the ornithologists? Oh, my.

  8. mike from iowa says:

    Nice looking bird. Hope it likes cold weather. All my spuds are frostbite black this morning cuz it got down to 28 degrees in iowa last night.Didn’t hurt apple blossoms as far as I can tell. What weird weather for iowa this close to Autumn.

    • slipstream says:

      Sunshine and 72 degrees at my house in southcentral Alaska, Mike.

      It’s sort of a weather-related emergency. Nobody has ever heard of a May this warm and sunny. The locals don’t know what to do.

      • mike from iowa says:

        Lot of neighbor/farmers are glad their corn hadn’t sprouted yet. There will be some replanting going on this week,I’m thinking. Enjoy your fine weather,Slip. My furnace is still running. πŸ™‚

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