1. There's a reason the author wanted to remain anonymous. ;-) 2. Gull identification is extremely complex. It takes lots of time (in the rain and wind) to become proficient. 3. Some folks are larophiles and enjoy the challenge. They talk of the fun of learning. When I was working in manufacturing our company had a culture of "continuous improvement, technical excellence, and going beyond customer expectations to produce world class products." That was business. Birding is a hobby; not everyone wants to continuously improve. No one should feel ashamed if they don't want to continuously improve. 4. Some folks are larophobes and avoid trying to decipher gulls. 5. Many folks are in the middle, with limited patience for spending hours trying to figure out the swirling mass of birds at a gull wad. 6. This chart is an attempt to take the many pages of the field guide and put them on one page, to begin to sort out the confusion. Because no one has enough fingers to put in each of the pages of the book and still hold optics.
7. Identifying gulls is like solving complex equations. You can't jump to chapter 8 without understanding basic concepts. Those who make that jump leave beginners in the dust and don't teach anything. Some folks say the experts take all the fun out of birding. 8. A chart like this has value.
My suggestion to the author(s) of the chart.
a. I would start, as you do, with adult birds. Work on them first, before trying to figure out comparisons between sub-adults of different species. b. I would skip iris and eyering. You can't see them unless you are very close. c. I would include SIZE and divide gulls in to three bunches 1. Large gulls with pink legs 2. Small gulls with yellow (sometimes greenish or gray) legs 3. Smaller gulls with black or red legs d. I would include WING-TIPS and note whether they are 1. white 2. gray with white spots 3. black with white spots 4. all black e. I would do bills as you have and include a comment on size of the bill.
This won't get you to chapter 8 of 'Solutions to All Things Larid," but maybe you didn't want to go there anyway.
----------------- Subject: Gull chart, missing the point. Date: Mon Oct 30 2017 14:33 pm From: lantz503 AT gmail.com
This gull chart is basically 1 + 1, it's a way to get our foot in the door. Some of the experts up here if you want us to go straight to chapter 8 with complex equations. I remember struggling with sparrows when I first started, my lack of understanding then seems a bit silly to me now. I now have that same learning curve with gulls.
To say this chart is unhelpful I find is dismissive to novice birders who are trying to learn. There are many amazingly considerate individuals here who encourage us to learn. Honestly, there are a few others here that take the fun out of it for me, I know I make mistakes and foibles but that's part of learning.
I and a few of my friends want to use this this great resource of obol to continue to learn, a very good friend of mine will not post here because of some discouraging comments.
Thank you, David Lantz
---------------- Subject: Gull identification chart Date: Mon Oct 30 2017 6:58 am From: Autumn207 AT comcast.net
One of our members, who wishes to remain anonymous, asked me to post this chart on gull identification that he created. He is interested in your feedback, i.e. do you find it useful? accurate?