This afternoon at the gull puddle area of the Yaquina Bay south jetty Laura and I saw an adult gull as dark as the one in Mike's photo. I tried to turn it into a Slaty-backed, but a number of features on the bird forbid it. The string of pearls on the inner primaries was not present. The bill was too long and the gonydeal angle too sharp. The width of the white on the edge of the closed wing was too narrow, although the feathers were obviously very worn, and therefore shortened. The eye, while lighter than would normally be expected on a Western Gull, was not nearly pale enough to support Slaty-backed. Features which suggested the possibility of that species were the mantle color, what appeared to be a circular, reddish orbital ring, (I could have been mistaken on this point, as it was difficult to see for certain) and a rather dark smudge around and behind the eye. This particular bird had a badly injured leg, so would be easily recognizable to anyone else who happened to see it. I would state categorically that it was not a Slaty-backed, but If it sticks around I would be interested to hear any comments regarding it by others who might encounter it.
From: "Mike Patterson" <celata...>
To: "OBOL" <obol...>, "swalalahos" <swalalahos...>
Sent: Sunday, April 9, 2017 11:52:46 AM
Subject: [obol] PHOTOS: Slaty-backed Gull today