Meadowlands Mystery Gull


We came across the above gull at the Keegan Landfill last week, and took it to be an Iceland Gull.

We believe the bird was seen again on Saturday, since a birding group pointed out what they ID'd as an Iceland Gull to Doug Morel, who took the photo below.

Chris Takacs posted the landfill photo on his blog, which elicited an interesting comment from a knowledgeable birder, who suspects the bird is actually a leucistic Herring Gull. (More on leucistic birds here.)

What do you think? Post a comment or e-mail Jim Wright — jimwright (at)

Another pic follows on the jump.

2012 Birds 004



3 thoughts on “Meadowlands Mystery Gull

  1. Michael Britt

    The pics are all in challenging light but what I am looking at appears to be a first or second cycle Glaucous Gull. A better look at the plumage characteristics and iris color in better light would help with the aging. The relative size of the bill alone rules out Iceland. It is also worth noting that compared to the Herring it is next to, the bird in question appears (angle it is standing could be a factor) to have less wing projection (Iceland too would have more relative wing projection than Glaucous…like the Herring clearly has in the side by side pic). Overall, Iceland is smaller than Herring and Glaucous is larger than Herring. This bird appears larger than the Herring it is next to. A 2nd cycle Glaucous Gull was documented at Keegan Landfill on 12/20/11, plus other dates before and after in the general vicinity.

  2. Michael Britt

    The bird appears very “ghostly” which suggests a 2nd cycle Glaucous. The bird is considerably “whiter” than the good pics of the Edison 1st cycle Glaucous.


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