Date: 2/1/18 11:22 am From: Lars Per Norgren <larspernorgren...> Subject: [obol] Armchair gulling
As Phil Pickering commented awhile back, the bill of Slaty-backed Gull
is highly variable. The north Pacific Coastline is close to continuous from
Yaquina Head to Hokkaido and the Glaucous-winged Gull breeds across that
entire arc. We know beyond a doubt that G-wings routinely hybridize with
Western Gulls, Herring Gulls, and Glaucous Gulls on this side of the Bering
Strait. There's no reason to not think they are doing the same with Slaty-backed
and Vega (the Far Eastern Herring Gull that sometimes is elevated to species)
on the otherside. OR HAVE DONE SO IN THE PAST. I'm pretty sure Slaty-backs
have been nesting on the west coast of Alaska for awhile. The smaller the
numbers the greater the chance of hybridization.
The first record of Lesser Black-backed Gull nesting in North America was not
on the Atlantic, but in se Alaska where one mated with a Herring Gull. LBB Gulls
now regularly mate with Herring Gulls on the Appledore Islands of New Hampshire.