English and Scientific names:

Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)

Number of individuals: 

One worn/bleached first-cycle female (based on size)

Locality: LOUISIANA: 

Cameron Parish

Specific Locality:

beach off LA-82, ca. 5 mi. W of Holly Beach

Date(s) when observed:

28 March 2009

Time(s) of day when observed:  

~12:00-12:30 PM CDT

Reporting observer and address:

Devin Bosler

Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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

Justin Bosler, Paul Conover  

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

Patrick Beauzay (first discovered on 21 Feb 2009), Jay Huner  

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

Clear sky with optimal midday sunlight.  Sun angle high.  Backlighting or glare not a problem.  

Optical equipment: 

Zeiss Victory FL 8x42, Nikon Fieldscope w/ 20-60x optical zoom, Canon Powershot SD 1100 IS (equipment in good condition)

Distance to bird(s): 

ca. 25-30 meters

Duration of observation:

~30 min.


Sandy beach.

Behavior of bird: 

The gull was observed preening and at rest.  It was roosting with a small flock of pelicans and other larids.  Occasionally, it bullied and chased off surrounding gulls.  Although not observed in flight, the gull stretched its wings a few times allowing a full view of the spread wing.



A large, entirely white gull.  Gradual sloping forehead and flat crowned.  Some brown smudges on breast, sides, and undertail coverts, but otherwise clean white plumage.  Relatively short wingtip projection and entirely white primaries.  Long and stout, parallel-sided bill with moderate gonydeal expansion.  Flesh bill with sharply demarcated black distal third.  Small, dark eye isolated on pure white head, giving beady eye appearance.  Flesh-pink legs and feet. 




Similar species:

No other similar larids.  Its entirely white plumage is unique among first-cycle large gulls in N.A.  About the same size as surrounding Am. Herring Gulls, definitely not larger.  Leucistic or albinistic gulls can be ruled out by structure and bill color.   

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Yes, digiscoped photos by Devin Bosler.  Yes, attached. 

Previous experience with this species: 

Very familiar with GLGU.  Previous experience from many encounters in PA, NY, MA, and one prior LA observation.  Most recent GLGU studied and photographed at Fourchon Beach in Port Fourchon (Lafourche Parish) on 5 Apr 2008.

Identification aids:

National Geographic Complete Birds of N.A. (Alderfer et al. 2005) and Gulls of the Americas (Howell and Dunn 2007).

This description is written from: 

__Yes___ notes made during the observation (_____notes attached?);__Yes___notes made after the observation (date:_____); __Yes__memory.

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


Yes, positive.


Devin Bosler 

Date and time: 

12 April 2009

10:30 PM CDT