Date: 11/2/17 8:18 am
From: Mark Greenfield <sauviemark...>
Subject: [obol] Gull ID
Thank you for all of your comments on gull ID. Gull ID is something I did not initially pursue when I started getting serious about becoming a better birder. It was simply too much to absorb at the time. Over the past two years I have made the effort to learn gull ID for adult gulls, aided by the fact that many hang out on the field next to my property during the winter. Last winter I reached the point, with help from birding guides and talking with birding friends, where I was able to distinguish seven species on the field (including a rare Western blown in by a storm). I would take my scope out and watch them for a long time, noting the distinguishing features I was alerted to look for (and that some of you have mentioned in your comments). Now, of course, I need to relearn those distinguishing features, since it has been many months since I last saw gulls in the field, but I have written them down to help me. I still have not learned to distinguish among juvenile gulls (I don’t even try), and I am hopeless identifying gulls flying overhead, but observing them regularly in the field is a good start. Now, in winter time when the field has ponds, I look forward to their return. This field, by the way, is the one that is immediately in front of you when you cross the Sauvie Island bridge, so if you live near Sauvie Island, you can observe them easily by pulling over as you head down from the bridge. This is the same field where I counted 307 sandhill cranes and thousands of geese three mornings ago. g

Mark Greenfield
Sauvie Island, Oregon

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