Mystery Gull at Hooper Lane, NC

This unidentified gull showed up in the NC mountains the day after the remnants of Hurricane Humberto blew through the area. Some wonder if this could be a Kelp x Herring Gull hybrid, another Herring Gull hybrid, or some other gull species. Unfortunately, the lack of head & bill details may prevent a definitive ID. Comments are welcome.

Hooper Lane, Henderson Co., NC
14 Sep 2007

Found and photographed (digiscoped from a long distance) by Wayne Forsythe.

Observation notes of Wayne Forsythe, the original observer: A large gull with dark gray mantle and very clean white head and chest. The bill was yellow with a large red spot on the lower mandible and it looked pretty large. In the photos, the feet appear yellow. I have had several folks look at the photos and with no prompting they have all said,the feet look yellow. In flight, the wings and back were dark gray, the leading and trailing edges of the wings were white as well as the tail. The primaries were black with white tips. My total viewing time was 2-3 minutes.

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Created on ... September 18, 2007 | Updated on ... September 18, 2007 |