English and Scientific names:

Glaucous Gull

Larus hyperboreus

Number of individuals: 

1 in 1st basic [1st winter] plumage

Locality: LOUISIANA: 

Vermilion Parish


Specific Locality:

About 2 miles south of Maurice along Hwy 167.


Date(s) when observed:

December 24th, 2004



Time(s) of day when observed:  

From about 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Reporting observer and address:

Paul Conover

Lafayette, LA



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

Matt Pontiff [finder], Gary Pontiff, Dave Patton, Gary Broussard.

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

Overcast, but light sufficient.

Optical equipment: 

Zeiss 10x40, Kowa TSN w/20-60 zoom


Distance to bird(s): 

From 40 yards to 300 yards, though mostly about 70 yards.

Duration of observation:



Plowed field with patches of water.



Behavior of bird: 

Bird was seen sitting, lying down sleeping, preening, foraging, being harassed by other gulls, etc.



 A large, bulky, extremely pale gull with dark eye and dark-tipped pink bill.

The bird was larger than the 100 Herring Gulls present.

The head and underparts appeared for the most part unmarked buffy or grayish white. There was light streaking, but this wasn’t readily noticeable.

The mantle had faint, widely spaced grayish bars. The wing coverts had what appeared to be faint grayish subterminal markings. The primaries and secondaries were seemingly solid translucent white. The uppertail coverts were barred with pale gray or buff, and the tail had faint barring, and slightly darker subterminal markings.

The eye was dark. The legs, which were hard to see most of the time, seemed pale flesh to me. The bill was a very distinctly pink, with a distinct dark tip.





No voice was heard.

Similar species:

Other pale gulls are smaller. Albino/leucistic Gulls wouldn’t match this combination of features.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Stills by me; digital photos by Dave Patton.



Previous experience with this species: 

1, seen 10 years ago. This was by far a better look.


Identification aids:


This description is written from: 

Notes at time of sighting and viewing photos.

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




Paul Conover

Date and time: 

December 24, 2004.