Louisiana Ornithological Society’s

Louisiana Bird Records Committee

Report Form



  1. English and Scientific names:

Iceland Gull, Laurus glaucoides


  1. Number of individuals, sexes, ages, general plumage (e.g., 2 in alternate plumage):


One, first winter bird.


  1. Locality: LOUISIANA: (parish) (specific locality)


St. Landry Parish. Crawfish pond on east side of Brooks Road about ˝ mile south of intersection with LA 358 and a mile north of intersection with Dusty Road.


  1. Date(s) when observed:


March 11, 2014


  1. Time(s) of day when observed:


4:00-4:30 PM CDST.


  1. Reporting observer and address:


Jay V. Huner

428 Hickory Hill Drive

Boyce, LA 71409


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




  1. Other observers who Independently identified the bird(s):



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


Mid-afternoon, light from behind. No shade issues.


  1. Optical equipment (type, power, condition):


Swift 10 x 42 binoculars – good condition. Eagle Optics Raven Scope – fair condition.


  1. Distance to bird(s):


150 to 30 yards.


  1. Duration of Observation:


30 minutes.


  1. Habitat:


Working wetland impoundment being used for a crawfish production. Rice planted as crawfish forage.


  1. Behavior of bird/circumstances of observations (flying, feeding, resting; including and stress habits in identification: relate events surrounding observation):


Bird  found in crawfish pond in company with many Ring-billed Gulls, a few Laughing Gulls, and a first year Herring Gull. Bird was swimming in the pond when first found. It subsequently flew south to a levee between that pond and the adjacent pond. It remained on the levee while I approached it to within 30 yards taking pictures. It subsequently flew permitting me to get an out of focus image and subsequently flew away.


  1. Description (include only what was actually seen, not what “should” have been seen: include if possible: total length/relative size compared to other familiar species, body bulk, shape, proportions, bill, eye, leg, and plumage characteristics. Stress features that separate it from similar species):


Gull was strikingly white with no dark feathers seen while resting or in flight. Nearby Ring-billed Gulls about 2/3 size of this gull and somewhat smaller than the nearby Herring Gull. Bill was somewhat compact and bicolored, clearly compact when compared to that of the Herring Gull in same images. Head appeared rounded. Legs and feet off pink/purple. The feathers did not seem to show any significant wear or fading as might be expected with a worn, bleached out Herring Gull. Wings projected  well beyond tail. According to the Howell-Dunn Peterson “Gulls of the Americas”, Iceland Gull is “…Distinguished from Glaucous Gull by more petite build , smaller bill, and relatively longer wing projections…”


  1. Voice:


Could not detect the bird calling.


  1. Similar species (include how they were eliminated by your observation):


Apparently similar to first year Glaucous Gull but Glaucous Gull is much larger and the bill is more robust. Wing projections are said to be longer in Iceland Gull and head is supposed to be longer.


  1. Photos/Recordings:


All photos have been submitted to P. Conover, D. Dittmann, and S. Cardiff.


  1. Previous experience with this species:


Some years ago, I saw an Iceland Gull at some distance at Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada and I saw the Mandeville, LA Iceland Gull in November 2013.


  1. Identification aids: (list books, illustrations, other birders, etc. used in identification):


    1. at time of observation: Sibley’s Field Guidle


    1. after observation: National Geographic Field Guide, Field Guide and Peterson’s Field Guide, and Howell-Dunn Peterson’s Gull Field Guide.


  1. This description is written from: _x_notes made during the observation (notes attached?); __notes made after the observation; __x_ memory. [Cannot find field notes. Will modify this report if/when those notes found.]


  1. Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain.


I cannot say for certain that the bird is an Iceland Gull. I have never seen a large, brilliant white gull in any working wetland system. The field marks seen at the site and review of characteristics on images are consistent with a first year Iceland Gull. The large Laurus spp. are well known for hybridization. To me, this bird did not seem to share characteristics with a comparable Glaucous Gull but I did initially believe the bird to be a Glaucous Gull.


  1. Signature of reporter __Jay V. Huner__ 8:25 AM, 03/13/2014