Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mew Gull

One of the first places I checked out when I arrived at South Jetty this past Saturday, was the beach just North of the jetty. There wasn't anything unusual, but there was a large number of gulls hanging out. It was a mix of Western, California, Herring, Heermann's and Mew Gulls. There also may have been a few Thayer's Gulls, but I'm still not comfortable identifying them.
I've probably had less than a hand full of sightings of Mew Gulls and these were easily the closest views I've gotten. I find the best field mark in identifying Mew Gulls is the size of its bill. Its much thinner and shorter than other Larus gulls. Its also the smallest overall in size.

In the image above the Mew Gull on the left is joined by a Heermann's Gull in the foreground and a California Gull in flight.


  1. For me, the best field mark for a Mew Gull is not a field mark at all. I just think to myself, that's a mighty cute gull, and then it clicks that it's a Mew. Ha, not very scientific I suppose. I love that last shot with the Heermann's!

  2. Oh, that puts into words exactly what my own "methodology" is with Mews. It's almost identical to my approach to Plovers - "what a cute little shorebird" - oh, it's a plover (of course, then to figure out which one)...
    Gorgeous pix as always Rick!

  3. Ha, I'm kind of the opposite. If I see a fierce looking gull I say to myself, "Must be a Herring Gull". :-)

  4. I haven't gotten the big gulls yet - Mew and Heerman's I can do. I can separate California's from Westerns (usually) but stop short at Thayer's or Herring.