English and Scientific names:

Glaucous Gull Larus hypoerboreus

Number of individuals: 

1, 1st or 2nd winter

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

Near end of Lurby Road, off of Hwy 167, ca. 3.5 miles N of Abbeville.

Date(s) when observed:

January 19, 2010

Time(s) of day when observed:  

ca. 3:45-4:10

Reporting observer and address:

Paul Conover

Lafayette, LA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):


Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Not great. Overcast day, bad for photography, OK for looking through scope.

Optical equipment: 

Nikon ED Fieldscope III 20-60X, Zeiss 10s, Sony Camcorder with 60X optical zoom, Lumix point and shoot (through scope).

Distance to bird(s): 

100 yards

Duration of observation:

About 25-30 minutes of viewing, interrupted only by changing lenses, etc.


Shallowly flooded field, perhaps 1 mile E of Meaux landfill. Many other gulls present.

Behavior of bird: 

Bird sat and preened, at one point harassed another gull, then flew off with the rest of the flock as they left the area for the day.


Very large white gull, bigger than Herrings around it. Appeared solidly white at the distance and in the light in which it was viewed.


Legs thick, pale pinkish, typical of Glaucous. Bill similar in color, with black tip. Bill deep and stout. The black tip on the bill may have been diffuse on its border, and the bird may have had a pale eye—this wasn’t clearly visible given the distance. In other words, I wasn’t able to tell if this was a first or second year bird.


Head large, domed. Eye small and beady, somewhat centrally located. Bird heavy-bodied and thick-necked.


In flight, appeared all white; no darker markings on wings or tail visible.


Not heard.

Similar species:

Albino gulls always possible, but large size and bulky structure of bill and body rule out most other species.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Poor photos. Video available but basically shows little detail beyond size and overall color.

Previous experience with this species: 

This is the 5th individual I’ve seen, all in Louisiana, and I’ve been able to study each well.

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 

Memory, study of photos.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 




Paul Conover

Date and time: