English and Scientific names:

Glaucous Gull (Larus Hyperboreus)

Number of individuals: 

1 - 2nd cycle

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

Elmer’s Island

Date(s) when observed:

October 18, 2009

Time(s) of day when observed:  


Reporting observer and address:

Phillip Wallace
New Orleans, LA

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

David Muth

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


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

Bird was NNW of the observers; sun was to the south. Light good to excellent.

Optical equipment: 

Eagle 10x40 binoculars

Distance to bird(s): 

15 meters

Duration of observation:

15 minutes


Sandy beach

Behavior of bird: 

Resting and flying


Large gull with basically white and off-white plumage; some coffee or grey speckling in the wings. Pale grey mantle feathers coming in mixed with 1st cycle white feathers. In flight, primary tips show as all white. Tail all white. Long, large bill is pinkish-flesh colored with a black subterminal ring and a flesh-colored tip. The eye is pale. The legs are pink. Although there were no adjacent gulls for direct comparison, the bird was clearly Herring Gull size or larger.



Similar species:

The white plumage and large size rule out all contenders. Eye-color and mantle color determine the age.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Video by Wallace submitted to LBRC. Stills from video accompany this report.

Previous experience with this species: 

I've seen several times in Louisiana.

Identification aids:

Howell and Dunn's "Gulls of the Americas" consulted after the observation.

This description is written from: 

Memory and videotape.

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


January 30, 2010

Date and time: