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Updated on February 5, 2016, 4:30 am

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05 Feb: @ 04:22:24 No Subject [phil barnett]
05 Feb: @ 04:21:06 No Subject [phil barnett]
05 Feb: @ 04:04:54  Greater White-fronted Goose identification [phil barnett]
04 Feb: @ 17:59:18  Sexing Northern Shrikes in the Field? [Jon Ruddy]
04 Feb: @ 11:18:49 Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [Sam Manning]
04 Feb: @ 10:18:20 Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [Tony Leukering]
04 Feb: @ 10:16:03 Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [Ross Silcock]
04 Feb: @ 09:02:49 Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [David Sibley]
04 Feb: @ 00:25:54  "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [Sam Manning]
03 Feb: @ 13:42:30 Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Phil Davis]
03 Feb: @ 13:12:17 Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [David Sibley]
03 Feb: @ 12:17:53 Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Wayne Hoffman]
03 Feb: @ 11:43:40 Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Rex Rowan]
03 Feb: @ 11:43:40 Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Tony Leukering]
03 Feb: @ 11:11:07 Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Terry Bronson]
03 Feb: @ 10:27:41 Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Tony Leukering]
03 Feb: @ 09:45:33  Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Nick Bonomo]
25 Jan: @ 19:02:29 Re: Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question [Lethaby, Nick]
25 Jan: @ 19:00:42 Re: Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question [whoffman]
25 Jan: @ 18:25:15 Re: Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question [Joseph Morlan]
25 Jan: @ 14:59:23 Re: Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question [Tony Leukering]
25 Jan: @ 14:27:06  Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question [Ken Schneider]
25 Jan: @ 08:05:42 Re: hummingbird in Mississippi [Jason Hoeksema]
24 Jan: @ 19:01:59 Re: hummingbird in Mississippi [Ian McLaren]
24 Jan: @ 15:28:19 Re: hummingbird in Mississippi [Jason Hoeksema]
24 Jan: @ 13:13:45  hummingbird in Mississippi [Jason Hoeksema]
24 Jan: @ 11:07:24 Re: Hornked Lark Subspecies [jeaniron]
24 Jan: @ 06:46:45  Hornked Lark Subspecies [Alix d'Entremont]
19 Jan: @ 21:46:05 Re: Interesting Gull [Alvaro Jaramillo]
19 Jan: @ 21:07:56 Re: Interesting Gull [Steve Hampton]
19 Jan: @ 20:24:46  Interesting Gull [Andrew Miller]
12 Jan: @ 16:19:40 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull [Mike O'Keeffe]
12 Jan: @ 15:52:53 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull [Alvaro Jaramillo]
12 Jan: @ 14:56:59 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull [Lethaby, Nick]
12 Jan: @ 14:27:48  Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull [Mike O'Keeffe]
10 Jan: @ 03:57:13 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Mike O'Keeffe]
10 Jan: @ 03:43:28 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Mike O'Keeffe]
09 Jan: @ 15:57:58 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Dick Newell]
09 Jan: @ 15:31:27 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Alvaro Jaramillo]
09 Jan: @ 15:06:33 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Alvaro Jaramillo]
09 Jan: @ 06:26:26 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Chris Corben]
09 Jan: @ 05:08:32 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Dick Newell]
09 Jan: @ 01:53:05 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Mike O'Keeffe]
08 Jan: @ 21:19:03 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [whoffman]
08 Jan: @ 19:19:20 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Alvaro Jaramillo]
08 Jan: @ 18:26:13 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Tony Leukering]
08 Jan: @ 18:03:17 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Mike O'Keeffe]
08 Jan: @ 16:11:39 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Amar Attach]
08 Jan: @ 15:34:59 Re: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull [Mike O'Keeffe]
08 Jan: @ 01:05:12 Re: Newport, Oregon Oriole [David Irons]



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Subject:
Date: Fri Feb 5 2016 4:22 am
From: philbarnettox AT yahoo.com
 
Sorry wrong group.

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject:
Date: Fri Feb 5 2016 4:21 am
From: philbarnettox AT yahoo.com
 
Hi Lee, what do you think is the best record, Duran Duran - The ReflexDon Henley - Boys of Summer
 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Greater White-fronted Goose identification
Date: Fri Feb 5 2016 4:04 am
From: philbarnettox AT yahoo.com
 
There's an interesting article on this in Birdwatch. There's a photo of an adult Eurasian  White-fronted Goose which has a yellow eye-ring above the eye but not below it, whereas the American races show a complete yellow eye-ring. Is this a feature?

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Sexing Northern Shrikes in the Field?
Date: Thu Feb 4 2016 17:59 pm
From: accipitriformes AT gmail.com
 
Hi there,

I have put together a short web article on the field ID of Northern Shrikes
which summarizes two excellent papers on the subject: Zimmerman (1955) and
Brady et al. (2009). I am curious to know if others have approached the
subject of ageing and sexing Northern Shrikes in the field (or through the
review of high quality digital images) and what their thoughts are on both
potential pitfalls and whether or not they feel this pursuit is possible,
both in terms of accuracy and consistency. Here's the link to the web
article: http://eontbird.ca/?p35.

Jon

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
Date: Thu Feb 4 2016 11:18 am
From: samgmanning1 AT gmail.com
 
Besides posting to this group, I also contacted Mary Brown, who Ross
mentioned. She stated that the swallow was a juvenile Cliff Swallow, most
likely coming from a nest in southern Texas that hatched in the 3rd week of
April and fledged in mid-May.

But knowing that this bird shows at least one suggestive characteristic of
a Cave Swallow, leaving it unidentified would probably be the "safest"
thing to do.

Thanks again
Sam Manning

On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:56 PM, Sam Manning wrote:

> Hey all,
>
> On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon
> Swallow at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska. I initially passed
> it off as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently
> and the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow.
> I have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article
> "Cave Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant." There is not a lot of
> information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
> opinions on the bird. Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
> can be found at the link below.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
>
> Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my
> photographs:
> 1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
> pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker appearance
> or a dark spot. There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
> article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
> 2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
> 3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
> crown.
> 4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
> 5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
> 6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
> coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
> 7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.
>
> I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump,
> though Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses
> mainly on head features, which are the best features to separate the two
> species. The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff
> Swallows, but I made no note of it.
>
>
> Thanks,
> Samuel Manning
> Omaha, Nebraska, USA
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
Date: Thu Feb 4 2016 10:18 am
From: greatgrayowl AT aol.com
 
Sam et al.:

I agree (at least mostly) with David, particularly that facial pattern in juvenile Cliff Swallow is exceedingly variable. However, I would like to propose another option (see below), though I believe that, given the photographic support, the bird in question may not be identifiable. Leukering (2011) suggests that a juvenile Petrochelidon with a contrastingly pale superciliary (a feature of the bird in question) is a Cave Swallow, although that feature has not been rigorously tested. In fact, none of the differentiating features noted in that paper have seen rigorous testing, as far as I am aware, and they should all be considered suggestive, at least in isolation.


Though with my Colorado mindset I might jump to the "h" word with unseemly haste, the possibility of Cliff x Cave Swallow ought to be considered for this bird. While that hybrid combo seems not to have been proven, with the frequency of Barn x Cliff Swallows and the widespread co-occurrence of Cliff and Cave swallows, I would be very surprised if miscegenation has not occurred. I also find it hard to imagine what the subject bird of David Arbour's photo essay is if it's not a hybrid.

The Nebraska bird is probably a Cliff Swallow, but I think that there is enough uncertainty that I'd be quite happy to enter this individual into eBird as "Cliff/Cave Swallow."

Tony




Tony Leukering
Largo, FL
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...

http://aba.org/photoquiz/





-----Original Message-----
From: David Sibley
To: BIRDWG01
Sent: Thu, Feb 4, 2016 9:22 am
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska

Hi Sam et al,

Unfortunately, the facial patterns of juvenile Cliff Swallows are so
variable that it may not be possible to identify a bird like this with
certainty. I think this is within the normal range for juvenile Cliff
Swallow, and the slightly darker smudges on the center of the throat might
point to Cliff rather than Cave. Face patterns in juvenile Cliff Swallows
range from almost all black to almost all white, with all combinations of
black, white, rufous, and buff possible in between. Related juveniles share
very similar patterns, and this is thought to help the parents recognize
their own offspring.

Presumably, Cave Swallow is also variable at this age, but has not been
well-studied. All-in-all a very difficult and underappreciated
identification challenge.

A couple of references:
Johnson, Alison E.; Steven Freedberg. 2014. Variable facial plumage in
juvenile Cliff Swallows: A potential offspring recognition cue?. The Auk
131: 121-128. pdf - http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/...

Stoddard, P. K., and M. D. Beecher. 1983. Parental recognition of offspring
in the Cliff Swallow. Auk 100: 795-799. pdf -
http://faculty.washington.edu/...

David Sibley
Concord MA
sibleyguides@gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 12:56 AM, Sam Manning wrote:

> Hey all,
>
> On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow
> at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska. I initially passed it off
> as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently and
> the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow. I
> have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article "Cave
> Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant." There is not a lot of
> information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
> opinions on the bird. Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
> can be found at the link below.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
>
> Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my
> photographs:
> 1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
> pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker appearance
> or a dark spot. There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
> article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
> 2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
> 3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
> crown.
> 4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
> 5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
> 6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
> coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
> 7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.
>
> I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump, though
> Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses mainly on
> head features, which are the best features to separate the two species.
> The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff Swallows, but I
> made no note of it.
>
>
> Thanks,
> Samuel Manning
> Omaha, Nebraska, USA
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
Date: Thu Feb 4 2016 10:16 am
From: silcock AT rosssilcock.com
 
Hi all,

A note on timing of previously-documented Cave Swallow records in Nebraska.
Charles Brown and Mary Brown have banded tens of thousands of Cliff Swallows
in western Nebraska. Among the netted birds have been 4 juveniles, in the
period 31 May-8 July; photographs of the first record, 31 May 1991, can be
found in Nebraska Bird Review 60: 36-39. Brown theorized that juvenile Cave
Swallows may on occasion move north with spring-migrant Cliff Swallows. The
date of Sam's photos, May 26, is very early for a Cliff Swallow to have
fledged in Nebraska; mid-June is the earliest Nebraska date for Cliff
Swallow fledglings to leave the nest. The other two Nebraska records are of
adults in May and August.

I am not making a case for Cave on Sam's bird, merely pointing out a timing
issue. Perhaps juvenile Cliff Swallows fledged somewhere south of Nebraska
might move north with Nebraska Cliff Swallows too.

Ross

Ross Silcock

Compiler, Seasonal Reports
Nebraska Bird Review
Tabor, IA


--------------------------------------------------
From: "David Sibley"
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 8:18 AM
To:
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in
Nebraska

> Hi Sam et al,
>
> Unfortunately, the facial patterns of juvenile Cliff Swallows are so
> variable that it may not be possible to identify a bird like this with
> certainty. I think this is within the normal range for juvenile Cliff
> Swallow, and the slightly darker smudges on the center of the throat might
> point to Cliff rather than Cave. Face patterns in juvenile Cliff Swallows
> range from almost all black to almost all white, with all combinations of
> black, white, rufous, and buff possible in between. Related juveniles
> share
> very similar patterns, and this is thought to help the parents recognize
> their own offspring.
>
> Presumably, Cave Swallow is also variable at this age, but has not been
> well-studied. All-in-all a very difficult and underappreciated
> identification challenge.
>
> A couple of references:
> Johnson, Alison E.; Steven Freedberg. 2014. Variable facial plumage in
> juvenile Cliff Swallows: A potential offspring recognition cue?. The Auk
> 131: 121-128. pdf - http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/...
>
> Stoddard, P. K., and M. D. Beecher. 1983. Parental recognition of
> offspring
> in the Cliff Swallow. Auk 100: 795-799. pdf -
> http://faculty.washington.edu/...
>
> David Sibley
> Concord MA
> sibleyguides@gmail.com
> www.sibleyguides.com
>
> On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 12:56 AM, Sam Manning
> wrote:
>
>> Hey all,
>>
>> On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon
>> Swallow
>> at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska. I initially passed it
>> off
>> as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently and
>> the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow. I
>> have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article
>> "Cave
>> Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant." There is not a lot of
>> information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
>> opinions on the bird. Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
>> can be found at the link below.
>>
>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>>
>>
>> Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my
>> photographs:
>> 1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
>> pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker
>> appearance
>> or a dark spot. There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
>> article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
>> 2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
>> 3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
>> crown.
>> 4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
>> 5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
>> 6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
>> coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
>> 7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.
>>
>> I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump,
>> though
>> Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses mainly
>> on
>> head features, which are the best features to separate the two species.
>> The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff Swallows, but I
>> made no note of it.
>>
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Samuel Manning
>> Omaha, Nebraska, USA
>>
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>>
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
Date: Thu Feb 4 2016 9:02 am
From: sibleyguides AT gmail.com
 
Hi Sam et al,

Unfortunately, the facial patterns of juvenile Cliff Swallows are so
variable that it may not be possible to identify a bird like this with
certainty. I think this is within the normal range for juvenile Cliff
Swallow, and the slightly darker smudges on the center of the throat might
point to Cliff rather than Cave. Face patterns in juvenile Cliff Swallows
range from almost all black to almost all white, with all combinations of
black, white, rufous, and buff possible in between. Related juveniles share
very similar patterns, and this is thought to help the parents recognize
their own offspring.

Presumably, Cave Swallow is also variable at this age, but has not been
well-studied. All-in-all a very difficult and underappreciated
identification challenge.

A couple of references:
Johnson, Alison E.; Steven Freedberg. 2014. Variable facial plumage in
juvenile Cliff Swallows: A potential offspring recognition cue?. The Auk
131: 121-128. pdf - http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/...

Stoddard, P. K., and M. D. Beecher. 1983. Parental recognition of offspring
in the Cliff Swallow. Auk 100: 795-799. pdf -
http://faculty.washington.edu/...

David Sibley
Concord MA
sibleyguides@gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 12:56 AM, Sam Manning wrote:

> Hey all,
>
> On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow
> at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska. I initially passed it off
> as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently and
> the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow. I
> have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article "Cave
> Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant." There is not a lot of
> information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
> opinions on the bird. Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
> can be found at the link below.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
>
> Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my
> photographs:
> 1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
> pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker appearance
> or a dark spot. There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
> article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
> 2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
> 3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
> crown.
> 4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
> 5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
> 6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
> coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
> 7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.
>
> I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump, though
> Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses mainly on
> head features, which are the best features to separate the two species.
> The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff Swallows, but I
> made no note of it.
>
>
> Thanks,
> Samuel Manning
> Omaha, Nebraska, USA
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
Date: Thu Feb 4 2016 0:25 am
From: samgmanning1 AT gmail.com
 
Hey all,

On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow
at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska. I initially passed it off
as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently and
the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow. I
have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article "Cave
Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant." There is not a lot of
information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
opinions on the bird. Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
can be found at the link below.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/...


Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my photographs:
1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker appearance
or a dark spot. There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
crown.
4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.

I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump, though
Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses mainly on
head features, which are the best features to separate the two species.
The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff Swallows, but I
made no note of it.


Thanks,
Samuel Manning
Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
Date: Wed Feb 3 2016 13:42 pm
From: pdavis AT ix.netcom.com
 
Nick, Terry, Tony, et al.

Maryland had a well-photographed Burrowing Owl in our western
panhandle on 19-20 May 1983.

Eastern Records. The review file (prepared in 1983) contains notes on
some other eastern records:

MA - 15 May 1875, Newburyport, MA. Collected. Specimen in the museum
of Boston Society of Natural History.

NH - 20 Feb 1922, Dover, NH. Found dead in a barn.

NY - 08 Aug 1875, New York City. Alive - possible escape?
NY - 27 Oct 1950, Long Island. Collected - in private collection.

VA - 22 Oct 1918, Cape Henry, VA. Aboard ship offshore. Hypothetical
record since disposition of specimen unknown.

(Also noted was the NY case of Arthur Allen's pet of one year that
escaped. Date unknown.)


Subspecies Analysis. Copies of photos of the MD bird were sent to Ken
Parkes, who prepared a detailed analysis indicating that the MD bird
was almost certainly a female of the western, hypugaea, subspecies.
If anyone is interested in Parkes' analysis, let me know and I can post it.

Hope this helps ...

Phil

==================================================Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland 21035 USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis@ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site: http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/...
===================================================

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
Date: Wed Feb 3 2016 13:12 pm
From: sibleyguides AT gmail.com
 
Having been on the scene for the previous CT record of Burrowing Owl (and
involved in the extensive research that led to identifying it as the
Florida subspecies), I have paid a lot of attention to Burrowing Owls over
the years, and I think it's safe to identify this new Connecticut record as
the western subspecies hypugaea. Two key features are the broken
breastband, with a white central stripe extending from the belly to the
throat; and the clean white visible on the underside of the bend of the
wing in photo 1 R. Florida birds have an essentially unbroken breastband of
dark brown mottling, and (as Tony pointed out) dark spots on the underwing
coverts, including some on the small feathers that are visible in this
photo.

Other features are either too unreliable or too subjective to be useful in
these photos. Overall color and extent of markings on belly averages darker
in Florida, but is extremely variable: darker and more heavily marked in
females, and subject to extreme fading in both subspecies. Western birds
average more feathering on the legs, but this is variable and almost
impossible to see reliably in the field. Florida birds tend to have darker
cheeks, but this is subtle and subject to fading.

Interestingly, while the few northward records of floridana are from fall
and winter, many of the eastern records of hypugaea are in spring and
summer, so this record fits that pattern.

David Sibley
Concord, MA

Best,
David
sibleyguides@gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM, Nick Bonomo wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in
> Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to
> subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing
> this worn bird. Thanks in advance.
>
> If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.
>
> Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts
>
> https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC
>
>
> Thanks,
> Nick
>
>
> Nick Bonomo
> Wallingford, CT, USA
> www.shorebirder.com
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
Date: Wed Feb 3 2016 12:17 pm
From: whoffman AT peak.org
 



Subject: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
Date: Wed Feb 3 2016 11:43 am
From: rexrowan AT gmail.com
 
Actually, at least one Florida Burrowing Owl strayed as far north as Nova
Scotia. See pp. 44-48 of this issue of *Nova Scotia Birds*, which includes
an illustrated discussion of subspecific identification:

http://www.nsbirdsociety.ca/Pu...

Rex Rowan
Gainesvillle, Florida

On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:20 AM, Terry Bronson wrote:

> Nick,
>
> As an Easterner, I also have very limited experience with this species.
> However, Birds of North America Online recognizes only 2 subspecies north
> of Mexico and the Caribbean, and the Florida subspecies is non-migratory,
> with the furthest north stray only as far north as North Carolina.
> Therefore, any bird in the Northeast should be a stray of the western
> plains subspecies, Athene cunicularia hypugaea.
>
> Terry Bronson
> Morgantown, WV
>
>
>
> On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM, Nick Bonomo wrote:
>
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in
> > Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to
> > subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing
> > this worn bird. Thanks in advance.
> >
> > If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.
> >
> > Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts
> >
> > https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC
> >
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Nick
> >
> >
> > Nick Bonomo
> > Wallingford, CT, USA
> > www.shorebirder.com
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Terry Bronson
> Morgantown, WV
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
Date: Wed Feb 3 2016 11:43 am
From: greatgrayowl AT aol.com
 



Subject: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
Date: Wed Feb 3 2016 11:11 am
From: bronsonwv AT gmail.com
 
Nick,

As an Easterner, I also have very limited experience with this species.
However, Birds of North America Online recognizes only 2 subspecies north
of Mexico and the Caribbean, and the Florida subspecies is non-migratory,
with the furthest north stray only as far north as North Carolina.
Therefore, any bird in the Northeast should be a stray of the western
plains subspecies, Athene cunicularia hypugaea.

Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV



On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM, Nick Bonomo wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in
> Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to
> subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing
> this worn bird. Thanks in advance.
>
> If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.
>
> Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts
>
> https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC
>
>
> Thanks,
> Nick
>
>
> Nick Bonomo
> Wallingford, CT, USA
> www.shorebirder.com
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>



--
Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
Date: Wed Feb 3 2016 10:27 am
From: greatgrayowl AT aol.com
 
Nick:

A picture of the underside of the open wing would have been very useful for subsp ID (unspotted in Western, spotted in Florida). The only feature that I can see that might lead to such an ID is the feathering on the "outer portion of the tarsus:"

hypugaea -- ">1/2 the distance to the feet"

floridanus -- "



Subject: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
Date: Wed Feb 3 2016 9:45 am
From: nbonomo AT gmail.com
 
Hi all,

Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in
Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to
subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing
this worn bird. Thanks in advance.

If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.

Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts

https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC


Thanks,
Nick


Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT, USA
www.shorebirder.com

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question
Date: Mon Jan 25 2016 19:02 pm
From: nlethaby AT ti.com
 
Joe,

Are you sure that the coppery color to the eye-patch in an American-like Wigeon is indicative of a hybrid? I was looking at some (American) wigeon recently and it seems that the color of the eye-patch would vary from green to coppery depending on the angle of the light, at least on some birds.

I did have a definite hybrid last winter in the Goleta Area. Although it was superficially American-like, in good light you could see a rufous tone underlying the buff speckling on the head, as well some subtle gray tones on the body.

Nick

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Joseph Morlan
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 3:58 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question

Ken,

I agree completely with Tony on this. In fact I credit the late Laurie Binford for pointing this out to me several decades ago. I cannot say how much green is not okay, but hybrids typically have other pro-American features; other than some green behind the eye. One fairly typical hybrid has a large solid patch behind the eye that is copper-colored contrasting to the rest of the head color which is otherwise similar to American.

Another common misconception is that hybrids have the head of a Eurasian and the body of an American. Such so-called hybrids are often seen early in the season and they go through a body molt which turns them into "pure"
Eurasian by mid-late January. I think these are usually 1st cycle Eurasian males.

On Mon, 25 Jan 2016 15:36:37 -0500, Tony Leukering
wrote:

> Ken:
>
>I've run into this problem a number of times and find that a lot of ABA-area birders have this belief that Eurowiggles do not have green in the face. I've looked at large numbers of pictures of the species from all over its large range and even looked at some specimens from Europe, and it's obvious that unless American Wigeon genes are widespread in the Old World AND that green behind the eye is a dominant trait, a sizable percentage of male Eurasian Wigeon have at least some green behind the eye.
>
>However, one just cannot seem to get folks off of their long-held beliefs based on incorrect data/assumptions. Some other such include the dogma about Parasitic being the default jaeger in inland Lower 48 States (with a caveat about VERY large bodies of water) and various scaup ID features.
>
>Tony
>
>
>
>
>Tony Leukering
>Largo, FL
>http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/
>
>http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...
>
>http://aba.org/photoquiz/
>
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ken Schneider
>To: BIRDWG01
>Sent: Mon, Jan 25, 2016 3:03 pm
>Subject: [BIRDWG01] Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question
>
>Hi all,
>
>I'm seeing a lot of local eBird reports with photos of male wigeon
>identified as American x Eurasian Wigeon hybrids based largely or
>solely on a patch of dark green feathers on the face behind the eye.
>My understanding from reading Madge and Burn and doing some internet
>surfing is that this plumage feature is "OK" for pure Eurasian Wigeon.
>Is this incorrect? Is there some limit to how much green feathering
>there is acceptable for a "pure" bird, assuming the flanks are
>uniformly gray and there are no other features of hybridization?
>
>Thanks!
>
>Ken Schneider
>San Francisco, CA
>
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>
>
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question
Date: Mon Jan 25 2016 19:00 pm
From: whoffman AT peak.org
 
Hi - 

I totally agree with Tony -

Eurasian Wigeons in areas distant from American Wigeon populations can, and not too rarely show some green behind or around the eye. Here in Oregon, when trying to separate Eurasians from hybrids we look at both the face pattern and the flanks. Birds with clear gray flanks should be Eurasians, even if they have some green on the face. Winter-spring birds with pinkish feathering in the flanks as well as "intermediate" face patterns are most likely hybrids. HOWEVER Eurasian Wigeons in eclipse plumage have warm (pinkish) feathering in the flanks, and before they complete the molt out of eclipse they can have a mix of older pinkish patches and newer gray feathering. Further, dabbling ducks wintering in east Asia tend to keep the eclipse plumage later into the fall and winter than dabblers in North America, and we can see Eurasians still with some eclipse feathers when the American Wigeons are pretty much done with the molt.

It can be really instructive to study the plumage of drake American Wigeons to see just how variable they are. Some of it will be age-related, some molt-related, and some will be just genetic variation in the species. Look up "Storm Wigeon" for an extreme of this variation.

Eurasian Wigeon has a larger native range than American Wigeon and historically may have had a larger total population, and we should expect similar levels of variation in that species.

As birders looking for rarities, we tend to think of them as needing to look just like the illustrations in the field guides we use, and we often do not allow them the range of variation we accept in our local common birds.

Wayne Hoffman



From: "Tony Leukering"
To: "BIRDWG01"
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 12:36:37 PM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question

Ken:

I've run into this problem a number of times and find that a lot of ABA-area birders have this belief that Eurowiggles do not have green in the face. I've looked at large numbers of pictures of the species from all over its large range and even looked at some specimens from Europe, and it's obvious that unless American Wigeon genes are widespread in the Old World AND that green behind the eye is a dominant trait, a sizable percentage of male Eurasian Wigeon have at least some green behind the eye.

However, one just cannot seem to get folks off of their long-held beliefs based on incorrect data/assumptions. Some other such include the dogma about Parasitic being the default jaeger in inland Lower 48 States (with a caveat about VERY large bodies of water) and various scaup ID features.

Tony




Tony Leukering
Largo, FL
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...

http://aba.org/photoquiz/





-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Schneider
To: BIRDWG01
Sent: Mon, Jan 25, 2016 3:03 pm
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question

Hi all,

I'm seeing a lot of local eBird reports with photos of male wigeon
identified as American x Eurasian Wigeon hybrids based largely or solely on
a patch of dark green feathers on the face behind the eye. My
understanding from reading Madge and Burn and doing some internet surfing
is that this plumage feature is "OK" for pure Eurasian Wigeon. Is this
incorrect? Is there some limit to how much green feathering there is
acceptable for a "pure" bird, assuming the flanks are uniformly gray and
there are no other features of hybridization?

Thanks!

Ken Schneider
San Francisco, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question
Date: Mon Jan 25 2016 18:25 pm
From: jmorlan AT gmail.com
 
Ken,

I agree completely with Tony on this. In fact I credit the late Laurie
Binford for pointing this out to me several decades ago. I cannot say how
much green is not okay, but hybrids typically have other pro-American
features; other than some green behind the eye. One fairly typical hybrid
has a large solid patch behind the eye that is copper-colored contrasting
to the rest of the head color which is otherwise similar to American.

Another common misconception is that hybrids have the head of a Eurasian
and the body of an American. Such so-called hybrids are often seen early
in the season and they go through a body molt which turns them into "pure"
Eurasian by mid-late January. I think these are usually 1st cycle Eurasian
males.

On Mon, 25 Jan 2016 15:36:37 -0500, Tony Leukering
wrote:

> Ken:
>
>I've run into this problem a number of times and find that a lot of ABA-area birders have this belief that Eurowiggles do not have green in the face. I've looked at large numbers of pictures of the species from all over its large range and even looked at some specimens from Europe, and it's obvious that unless American Wigeon genes are widespread in the Old World AND that green behind the eye is a dominant trait, a sizable percentage of male Eurasian Wigeon have at least some green behind the eye.
>
>However, one just cannot seem to get folks off of their long-held beliefs based on incorrect data/assumptions. Some other such include the dogma about Parasitic being the default jaeger in inland Lower 48 States (with a caveat about VERY large bodies of water) and various scaup ID features.
>
>Tony
>
>
>
>
>Tony Leukering
>Largo, FL
>http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/
>
>http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...
>
>http://aba.org/photoquiz/
>
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ken Schneider
>To: BIRDWG01
>Sent: Mon, Jan 25, 2016 3:03 pm
>Subject: [BIRDWG01] Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question
>
>Hi all,
>
>I'm seeing a lot of local eBird reports with photos of male wigeon
>identified as American x Eurasian Wigeon hybrids based largely or solely on
>a patch of dark green feathers on the face behind the eye. My
>understanding from reading Madge and Burn and doing some internet surfing
>is that this plumage feature is "OK" for pure Eurasian Wigeon. Is this
>incorrect? Is there some limit to how much green feathering there is
>acceptable for a "pure" bird, assuming the flanks are uniformly gray and
>there are no other features of hybridization?
>
>Thanks!
>
>Ken Schneider
>San Francisco, CA
>
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>
>
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question
Date: Mon Jan 25 2016 14:59 pm
From: greatgrayowl AT aol.com
 
 Ken:

I've run into this problem a number of times and find that a lot of ABA-area birders have this belief that Eurowiggles do not have green in the face. I've looked at large numbers of pictures of the species from all over its large range and even looked at some specimens from Europe, and it's obvious that unless American Wigeon genes are widespread in the Old World AND that green behind the eye is a dominant trait, a sizable percentage of male Eurasian Wigeon have at least some green behind the eye.

However, one just cannot seem to get folks off of their long-held beliefs based on incorrect data/assumptions. Some other such include the dogma about Parasitic being the default jaeger in inland Lower 48 States (with a caveat about VERY large bodies of water) and various scaup ID features.

Tony




Tony Leukering
Largo, FL
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...

http://aba.org/photoquiz/





-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Schneider
To: BIRDWG01
Sent: Mon, Jan 25, 2016 3:03 pm
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question

Hi all,

I'm seeing a lot of local eBird reports with photos of male wigeon
identified as American x Eurasian Wigeon hybrids based largely or solely on
a patch of dark green feathers on the face behind the eye. My
understanding from reading Madge and Burn and doing some internet surfing
is that this plumage feature is "OK" for pure Eurasian Wigeon. Is this
incorrect? Is there some limit to how much green feathering there is
acceptable for a "pure" bird, assuming the flanks are uniformly gray and
there are no other features of hybridization?

Thanks!

Ken Schneider
San Francisco, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Eurasian Wigeon and hybrid question
Date: Mon Jan 25 2016 14:27 pm
From: kschnei1 AT hotmail.com
 
Hi all,

I'm seeing a lot of local eBird reports with photos of male wigeon
identified as American x Eurasian Wigeon hybrids based largely or solely on
a patch of dark green feathers on the face behind the eye. My
understanding from reading Madge and Burn and doing some internet surfing
is that this plumage feature is "OK" for pure Eurasian Wigeon. Is this
incorrect? Is there some limit to how much green feathering there is
acceptable for a "pure" bird, assuming the flanks are uniformly gray and
there are no other features of hybridization?

Thanks!

Ken Schneider
San Francisco, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: hummingbird in Mississippi
Date: Mon Jan 25 2016 8:05 am
From: hoeksema AT olemiss.edu
 
Thanks, everyone, for the feedback on this bird. The consensus is
Ruby-throated Hummingbird, immature male. Apparently the extent of buffy
wash on the underparts is within the normal range of variation for
Ruby-throated, and the apparent rufous in the outer tail feathers is caused
by backlighting through structural pigments, which (according to Sheri
Williamson) is the most common cause of apparent rufous in tail feathers of
hummingbirds that shouldn't have any.
Good birding,
Jason

On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 2:44 PM, Jason Hoeksema
wrote:

> One quick follow-up: A couple of early responses have suggested immature
> male Ruby-throat for this bird. I had considered that possibility, but I
> thought the buffy wash extending down onto the vent and the (apparent?)
> rufous in the outer tail feathers ruled out Archilocus. The buffy wash on
> the vent is apparent in photos 31 and 33
> ,
> and the apparent rufous in the outer tail feathers is visible in photo 108.
> Perhaps I'm wrong about both of those points, but I wanted to mention them
> now for consideration. Unfortunately, none of the photos show very well
> the relative width of the inner primaries compared to the outer 4, which
> would be useful in confirming Archilocus.
> Thanks again!
>
>
> On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 12:48 PM, Jason Hoeksema
> wrote:
>
>> All:
>> I'd appreciate comments on a hummingbird that is currently visiting
>> feeders at a private residence on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Photos,
>> taken yesterday, can be found in this Flickr album:
>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>>
>> In the field, the bird appeared to me to be relatively short-billed,
>> short-tailed, square-tailed, and pot-bellied, and my initial impression was
>> possible Calliope. However, after studying my photos, I noticed that the
>> wing tips fell well short of the tail tip (although the wings were always
>> drooped when perched, making me a bit uncertain about this), the tail may
>> be a bit more graduated than I thought it was in the field, and R1 may be
>> all green (although I did not obtain a good photo of a dorsal view of the
>> tail), perhaps pointing to Broad-tailed instead.
>>
>> Your input on the likely gender and species of this bird would be much
>> appreciated. A few additional features I noted:
>> * relatively light cinnamon wash on underparts
>> * some rufous visible on outer retrices (at least on R4/R5), but not a lot
>> * a couple of rose-colored gorget feathers in center of throat
>>
>> Thanks in advance!
>>
>> Jason Hoeksema
>> Oxford, MS
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Dr. Jason D. Hoeksema, Associate Professor
> Department of Biology
> University of Mississippi
> phone: 662-915-1275
> lab website
>



--
Dr. Jason D. Hoeksema, Associate Professor
Department of Biology
University of Mississippi
phone: 662-915-1275
lab website

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: hummingbird in Mississippi
Date: Sun Jan 24 2016 19:01 pm
From: I.A.McLaren AT dal.ca
 
I have been through the ID mill with two or three similar late hummingbirds in Nova Scotia. Sheri Williamson (undoubtedly tops in these & worth contacting) totally convinced me that they were young Ruby-throats. The dark 'raccoon' mask. bill length, golden-green (not bluish-green) back are all good. Young males often have some warm buff on flanks and even on rects.

Putting the image(s) on the Advanced ID Facebook page might evoke responses, including from Sheri W.

Cheers,
Ian McLaren


________________________________________
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Jason Hoeksema
Sent: January 24, 2016 4:44 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] hummingbird in Mississippi

One quick follow-up: A couple of early responses have suggested immature
male Ruby-throat for this bird. I had considered that possibility, but I
thought the buffy wash extending down onto the vent and the (apparent?)
rufous in the outer tail feathers ruled out Archilocus. The buffy wash on
the vent is apparent in photos 31 and 33
,
and the apparent rufous in the outer tail feathers is visible in photo 108.
Perhaps I'm wrong about both of those points, but I wanted to mention them
now for consideration. Unfortunately, none of the photos show very well
the relative width of the inner primaries compared to the outer 4, which
would be useful in confirming Archilocus.
Thanks again!


On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 12:48 PM, Jason Hoeksema
wrote:

> All:
> I'd appreciate comments on a hummingbird that is currently visiting
> feeders at a private residence on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Photos,
> taken yesterday, can be found in this Flickr album:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> In the field, the bird appeared to me to be relatively short-billed,
> short-tailed, square-tailed, and pot-bellied, and my initial impression was
> possible Calliope. However, after studying my photos, I noticed that the
> wing tips fell well short of the tail tip (although the wings were always
> drooped when perched, making me a bit uncertain about this), the tail may
> be a bit more graduated than I thought it was in the field, and R1 may be
> all green (although I did not obtain a good photo of a dorsal view of the
> tail), perhaps pointing to Broad-tailed instead.
>
> Your input on the likely gender and species of this bird would be much
> appreciated. A few additional features I noted:
> * relatively light cinnamon wash on underparts
> * some rufous visible on outer retrices (at least on R4/R5), but not a lot
> * a couple of rose-colored gorget feathers in center of throat
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Jason Hoeksema
> Oxford, MS
>



--
Dr. Jason D. Hoeksema, Associate Professor
Department of Biology
University of Mississippi
phone: 662-915-1275
lab website

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: hummingbird in Mississippi
Date: Sun Jan 24 2016 15:28 pm
From: hoeksema AT olemiss.edu
 
One quick follow-up: A couple of early responses have suggested immature
male Ruby-throat for this bird. I had considered that possibility, but I
thought the buffy wash extending down onto the vent and the (apparent?)
rufous in the outer tail feathers ruled out Archilocus. The buffy wash on
the vent is apparent in photos 31 and 33
,
and the apparent rufous in the outer tail feathers is visible in photo 108.
Perhaps I'm wrong about both of those points, but I wanted to mention them
now for consideration. Unfortunately, none of the photos show very well
the relative width of the inner primaries compared to the outer 4, which
would be useful in confirming Archilocus.
Thanks again!


On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 12:48 PM, Jason Hoeksema
wrote:

> All:
> I'd appreciate comments on a hummingbird that is currently visiting
> feeders at a private residence on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Photos,
> taken yesterday, can be found in this Flickr album:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> In the field, the bird appeared to me to be relatively short-billed,
> short-tailed, square-tailed, and pot-bellied, and my initial impression was
> possible Calliope. However, after studying my photos, I noticed that the
> wing tips fell well short of the tail tip (although the wings were always
> drooped when perched, making me a bit uncertain about this), the tail may
> be a bit more graduated than I thought it was in the field, and R1 may be
> all green (although I did not obtain a good photo of a dorsal view of the
> tail), perhaps pointing to Broad-tailed instead.
>
> Your input on the likely gender and species of this bird would be much
> appreciated. A few additional features I noted:
> * relatively light cinnamon wash on underparts
> * some rufous visible on outer retrices (at least on R4/R5), but not a lot
> * a couple of rose-colored gorget feathers in center of throat
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Jason Hoeksema
> Oxford, MS
>



--
Dr. Jason D. Hoeksema, Associate Professor
Department of Biology
University of Mississippi
phone: 662-915-1275
lab website

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: hummingbird in Mississippi
Date: Sun Jan 24 2016 13:13 pm
From: hoeksema AT olemiss.edu
 
All:
I'd appreciate comments on a hummingbird that is currently visiting feeders
at a private residence on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Photos, taken
yesterday, can be found in this Flickr album:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

In the field, the bird appeared to me to be relatively short-billed,
short-tailed, square-tailed, and pot-bellied, and my initial impression was
possible Calliope. However, after studying my photos, I noticed that the
wing tips fell well short of the tail tip (although the wings were always
drooped when perched, making me a bit uncertain about this), the tail may
be a bit more graduated than I thought it was in the field, and R1 may be
all green (although I did not obtain a good photo of a dorsal view of the
tail), perhaps pointing to Broad-tailed instead.

Your input on the likely gender and species of this bird would be much
appreciated. A few additional features I noted:
* relatively light cinnamon wash on underparts
* some rufous visible on outer retrices (at least on R4/R5), but not a lot
* a couple of rose-colored gorget feathers in center of throat

Thanks in advance!

Jason Hoeksema
Oxford, MS

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Hornked Lark Subspecies
Date: Sun Jan 24 2016 11:07 am
From: jeaniron AT sympatico.ca
 
Hi Alix,



Appearance fits a Prairie Horned Lark, but was it smaller
beside the Northerns? Smaller size would add greater certainty to the ID.
Nominate alpestris and praticola probably don't intergrade or it's extremely
limited. Hoyt's Horned Lark breeds east to southeastern Baffin Island at the
same longtitude as southern Nova Scotia so an alpestris x hoyti intergrade
seems possible, but such an intergrade is expected to be the same size as the
nearby Northerns. I wrote an article for Ontario birders which might provide
additional information. See link.

http://jeaniron.ca/2014/hlark....



Ron Pittaway

Toronto ON

> Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2016 06:10:18 -0600
> From: alixdentremont@HOTMAIL.COM
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Hornked Lark Subspecies
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> Alpestris (Northern) is the regular migrant and winter resident in Nova
> Scotia. We do get praticola (Prairie), but in smaller numbers. We also
> must be aware of the possibility of hoyti. See the eBird checklist below
> for photos.
>
> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S27065942
>
> That eBird checklist has three photos.
>
> Photo 1: ML23586171
> The one labeled praticola at left appears to have comparitively less
> rich brown on the back, nape, crown, breast... than what is likely a
> photo of alpestris at right. The bird at left also shows much less
> yellow in the face than the bird at right.
>
> Photo 2: ML23586211
> Possible praticola on the bottom and alpestris on top.
>
> Photo 3: ML23586221
> Possible praticola at front-right and alpestris at left and back.
>
> Do I have the subpecies correct here? Thanks.
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Hornked Lark Subspecies
Date: Sun Jan 24 2016 6:46 am
From: alixdentremont AT hotmail.com
 
Alpestris (Northern) is the regular migrant and winter resident in Nova
Scotia. We do get praticola (Prairie), but in smaller numbers. We also
must be aware of the possibility of hoyti. See the eBird checklist below
for photos.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S27065942

That eBird checklist has three photos.

Photo 1: ML23586171
The one labeled praticola at left appears to have comparitively less
rich brown on the back, nape, crown, breast... than what is likely a
photo of alpestris at right. The bird at left also shows much less
yellow in the face than the bird at right.

Photo 2: ML23586211
Possible praticola on the bottom and alpestris on top.

Photo 3: ML23586221
Possible praticola at front-right and alpestris at left and back.

Do I have the subpecies correct here? Thanks.

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Interesting Gull
Date: Tue Jan 19 2016 21:46 pm
From: chucao AT coastside.net
 
Hi Andrew
From a California perspective, that looks like a fairly typical Thayer's Gull. A substantial number of them are darker above than what may be considered quintessential, but this may be an incorrect assessment of what Thayer's actually looks like. The distinct idea of a gull with lots of black above on the primaries, and very little below is exactly what your gull shows, and is a Thayer's feature. The smallish bill, seemingly dark eyes, and even the warm colored hood of streaks, all good for Thayer's.
Regards
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Andrew Miller
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 5:37 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Interesting Gull

Hi All,

We found this Gull on Christmas day in central Kansas https://www.flickr.com/photos/... It appears to be a third or fourth cycle, but unfortunately we didn't see it for very long. We thought it didn't quite fit anything, but we weren't sure what to think. Is it just Herring? Thanks!

Andrew Miller
Partridge, Ks,
http://renocountybirdmen.blogs...

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Interesting Gull
Date: Tue Jan 19 2016 21:07 pm
From: stevechampton AT gmail.com
 
Based on the amount of white in the primary pattern, the gray (not black)
underside of that pattern, and the heavy head markings, this bird resembles
a typical Gl-W x Herring hybrid.



On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 5:36 PM, Andrew Miller <
andrewdavidmiller00@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> We found this Gull on Christmas day in central Kansas
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/... It
> appears to be a third or fourth cycle, but unfortunately we didn't see it
> for very long. We thought it didn't quite fit anything, but we weren't
> sure what to think. Is it just Herring? Thanks!
>
> Andrew Miller
> Partridge, Ks,
> http://renocountybirdmen.blogs...
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>



--
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Interesting Gull
Date: Tue Jan 19 2016 20:24 pm
From: andrewdavidmiller00 AT gmail.com
 
Hi All,

We found this Gull on Christmas day in central Kansas
https://www.flickr.com/photos/... It
appears to be a third or fourth cycle, but unfortunately we didn't see it
for very long. We thought it didn't quite fit anything, but we weren't
sure what to think. Is it just Herring? Thanks!

Andrew Miller
Partridge, Ks,
http://renocountybirdmen.blogs...

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull
Date: Tue Jan 12 2016 16:19 pm
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Hi,

Interesting activity in the arctic over Christmas. Maybe they both crossed the Arctic over the pole!
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicen...
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicen...

Regards

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Alvaro Jaramillo
Sent: 12 January 2016 21:43
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull

Nick et al.
Yep, totally agree. We have various eastern records for Vega in North America, while nearly nothing for Glaucous-winged out East. So from these sparse data you could make a good argument that GWGU came from Asia to Ireland, while the Vega may have come from either direction.
Now where do California Lesser Black-backs come from, now there is a question?
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Lethaby, Nick
Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:43 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull

Mike,

I don't think that likelihood of origin is going to be of much help in determining the purity of the GWGU. While the good news is that the GWGUs breeding in the Aleutians (which is relative near to the entrance to the Arctic Ocean compared to other populations) have darker wing-tips, it's pretty easy to think that a GWGU x HEGU hybrid that wintered in California could get mixed up with the arctic-breeding HEGUs and end up in the Arctic Ocean too.

Nick

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:12 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull

Hi,

Don't want to go fully reigniting this thread but thought people might be interested to know that Killian Mullarney found what appears to be Ireland (and the Western Palearctic's?) first Vega Gull in County Wexford over the weekend. This may provide some further evidence for the origin of the GWG. Link below.

http://www.irishbirding.com/bi...

Regards

Mike O'Keeffe
Ireland



-----Original Message-----
From: Mike O'Keeffe [mailto:okeeffeml@eircom.net]
Sent: 10 January 2016 09:47
To: 'BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU'
Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Dick,

Human's certainly do like to create artificial boundaries. We draw lines across a landscape and define countries. We define species lines which species regularly thread upon. We define national lists without knowing the true provenance or very often the genetic makeup of our vagrants. It's all flawed logic but as Alvaro put it humans need to be willing to accept uncertainty, and thats not currently in our makeup. But things could change. Perhaps future generations of kids will learn about the world and biology the way it exists and not by the rigid rules we were thought to apply to it. Its always easier to debate issues and find agreement when the rules are simple. When the rules are more flexible its easier to disagree then to agree. Maybe future generations will be more enlightened and the debates will move on a bit and there will be a new paradigm for dealing with the thorny issues of vagrancy and gene flow.

Regards

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: 09 January 2016 11:00
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Mike,
The European Herring Gull originated from some hybrid swarm in the past involving quite a few other 'species'. As a result, it is highly variable in appearance, but we are happy to call it one species. Doubtless the Glaucous-winged Gull is similar, it is just that some of the hybrid activity may be a bit more recent. How many generations back would you need to go to find a dark-winged ancestor of your gull, less than which you would not call it a Glaucous-winged Gull?

Barak Obama is called the first black president, but he has a caucasian mother. I read somewhere that in the US anybody who is at least 1/32 (5
generations) of African ancestor is classified as black. Although it is not politically incorrect to refer to the race of a person, all people are lumped.

The situation with the large white-headed gulls is similar, but we do our darndest to split them. So do we not need a policy decision. If a bird is 95% OK (as with your gull), then have it!

I realise that this would be the opposite policy than with black people, but since when was taxonomy logical? To a large extent it is driven by politics.
Dick, Cambridge, UK

On 9 January 2016 at 07:42, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,
>
>
>
> My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line
> with that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black
> and white view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think
> that traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a
> pragmatic approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and
> Elegant Tern for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for
> hybridization the tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt.
> Whether rightly or wrongly and whether the current committee will take
> the approach to the Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may
> never know what the right thing to do is in some cases.
>
>
>
> The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably
> due to receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in
> the Pacific these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup
> may provide a pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and Glaucous-winged (types).
> Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or
> Californian Gulls.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O’Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
> From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org]
> Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi –
>
>
>
> I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment
> until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on
> the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.
>
>
>
> I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s.
> I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in
> the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly
> similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker
> intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.
>
>
>
> More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the
> zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late
> 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.
>
>
>
> He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I
> agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and
> the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased
> through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the
> current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for
> both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.
>
>
>
> I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological
> signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression,
> some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the
> recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be
> used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was
> well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.
>
>
>
> For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider
> Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America.
> Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and
> upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the
> Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few
> generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much
> like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure"
> Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers,
> acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool,
> because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.
>
>
>
> Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate
> in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from
> species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species
> variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and
> bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged
> Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of
> the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the
> likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population.
> Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is
> probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.
>
>
>
> Hope this helps
>
>
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
>
>
>
> _____
>
> From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
> To: "BIRDWG01"
> Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Amar,
>
> Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to
> this interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
> Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary
> texts appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the
> accepted primary grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is
> correct, so would many of the N. Am rarities committees? Does this
> not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem
> like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
> Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
> To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull
> would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most
> records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're
> at with this species:
> person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.
>
> I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak
> gray scale values found in the current gull guides.
>
> Best,
> Amar
>
> Amar Ayyash
> www.anythinglarus.com
>
> > On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all
> > have a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the
> > Pacific NW hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan
> > today however I think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> > The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the
> > reference guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly
> > cannot possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
> >
> >
> >
> > Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> > Kodak scale 8-9 range.
> >
> > http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> > Op
> > u5k/s1
> > 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro
> > +H
> > okkaid
> > o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
> >
> > http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> > 1B
> > aCs/s1
> > 600/_MG_1352.JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> > 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
> >
> >
> >
> > If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most
> > closely resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook
> > Inlet Gull) here is a good match...
> >
> > http://gull-research.org/smith...
> >
> > ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
> GWG...
> >
> > http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> > 01
> > -01-09
> > .JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> > as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
> 2009-2012.
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> > Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> > Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> > to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare
> > south of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull
> > site N of Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to
> > molt fairly early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for.
> > My impression is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast.
> > At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into
> > mid-late winter as in
> Thayer's and Herring.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> > mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> > On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
> >
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> > experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> > subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> > But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> > assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply
> > too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is
> > difficult
> enough to achieve at the best of times.
> >
> > Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> > perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> > appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> > and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> > camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> > fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely
> > from photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool
> > provides some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than
> > one based
> solely on our visual perception.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale
> > tool, and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field
> > that the Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a
> > comparable primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
> >
> >
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> > least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> > than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing
> > entirely on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late
> > by standard references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> > American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> > birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> > journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of
> > arrested moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the
> > presence of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal
> > coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird
> > has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while
> > coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by
> > a young HG
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points
> > of interest.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Howell & Dunn
> >
> >
> >
> > "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey
> > wingtips (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
> >
> >
> >
> > Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is
> > roughly correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal
> > published range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and
> > Dunn. But it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what
> > studies specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> > American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> > element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> > hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey
> > scale
> > 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the
> > mantle
> shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
> >
> > The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Olsen & Larsson
> >
> >
> >
> > Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in
> > tone to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have
> > little difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2
> > levels above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird
> > similar to or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish
> > bird and it is described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again
> > without a clear explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at.
> > In the body text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale
> > level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for
> > Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> > This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> > analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and
> > how
> was
> the hybrid cut-off line determined.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In summary
> >
> >
> >
> > The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> > it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite
> > the bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> > currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> > obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> > better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a
> > hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my
> > analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both
> > the main published reference guides. This suggests that the
> > perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull
> > experts in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in
> > line with the current standard reference guides, for whom a primary
> > pattern grey-scale of
> >
> > 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> > specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any
> > genetic analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know
> > why birders consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater
> > than what is currently published.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> >
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
> >
> > For more info visit www.bullguard.com
> >
> > http://www.bullguard.com/tracking.aspx?affiliate=bllguard&buyaffilia%
> 0b>
> &buyaffilia
> > te=smt
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull
Date: Tue Jan 12 2016 15:52 pm
From: chucao AT coastside.net
 
Nick et al.
Yep, totally agree. We have various eastern records for Vega in North America, while nearly nothing for Glaucous-winged out East. So from these sparse data you could make a good argument that GWGU came from Asia to Ireland, while the Vega may have come from either direction.
Now where do California Lesser Black-backs come from, now there is a question?
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Lethaby, Nick
Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:43 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull

Mike,

I don't think that likelihood of origin is going to be of much help in determining the purity of the GWGU. While the good news is that the GWGUs breeding in the Aleutians (which is relative near to the entrance to the Arctic Ocean compared to other populations) have darker wing-tips, it's pretty easy to think that a GWGU x HEGU hybrid that wintered in California could get mixed up with the arctic-breeding HEGUs and end up in the Arctic Ocean too.

Nick

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:12 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull

Hi,

Don't want to go fully reigniting this thread but thought people might be interested to know that Killian Mullarney found what appears to be Ireland (and the Western Palearctic's?) first Vega Gull in County Wexford over the weekend. This may provide some further evidence for the origin of the GWG. Link below.

http://www.irishbirding.com/bi...

Regards

Mike O'Keeffe
Ireland



-----Original Message-----
From: Mike O'Keeffe [mailto:okeeffeml@eircom.net]
Sent: 10 January 2016 09:47
To: 'BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU'
Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Dick,

Human's certainly do like to create artificial boundaries. We draw lines across a landscape and define countries. We define species lines which species regularly thread upon. We define national lists without knowing the true provenance or very often the genetic makeup of our vagrants. It's all flawed logic but as Alvaro put it humans need to be willing to accept uncertainty, and thats not currently in our makeup. But things could change. Perhaps future generations of kids will learn about the world and biology the way it exists and not by the rigid rules we were thought to apply to it. Its always easier to debate issues and find agreement when the rules are simple. When the rules are more flexible its easier to disagree then to agree. Maybe future generations will be more enlightened and the debates will move on a bit and there will be a new paradigm for dealing with the thorny issues of vagrancy and gene flow.

Regards

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: 09 January 2016 11:00
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Mike,
The European Herring Gull originated from some hybrid swarm in the past involving quite a few other 'species'. As a result, it is highly variable in appearance, but we are happy to call it one species. Doubtless the Glaucous-winged Gull is similar, it is just that some of the hybrid activity may be a bit more recent. How many generations back would you need to go to find a dark-winged ancestor of your gull, less than which you would not call it a Glaucous-winged Gull?

Barak Obama is called the first black president, but he has a caucasian mother. I read somewhere that in the US anybody who is at least 1/32 (5
generations) of African ancestor is classified as black. Although it is not politically incorrect to refer to the race of a person, all people are lumped.

The situation with the large white-headed gulls is similar, but we do our darndest to split them. So do we not need a policy decision. If a bird is 95% OK (as with your gull), then have it!

I realise that this would be the opposite policy than with black people, but since when was taxonomy logical? To a large extent it is driven by politics.
Dick, Cambridge, UK

On 9 January 2016 at 07:42, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,
>
>
>
> My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line
> with that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black
> and white view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think
> that traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a
> pragmatic approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and
> Elegant Tern for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for
> hybridization the tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt.
> Whether rightly or wrongly and whether the current committee will take
> the approach to the Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may
> never know what the right thing to do is in some cases.
>
>
>
> The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably
> due to receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in
> the Pacific these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup
> may provide a pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and Glaucous-winged (types).
> Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or
> Californian Gulls.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O’Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
> From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org]
> Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi –
>
>
>
> I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment
> until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on
> the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.
>
>
>
> I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s.
> I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in
> the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly
> similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker
> intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.
>
>
>
> More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the
> zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late
> 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.
>
>
>
> He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I
> agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and
> the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased
> through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the
> current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for
> both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.
>
>
>
> I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological
> signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression,
> some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the
> recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be
> used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was
> well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.
>
>
>
> For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider
> Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America.
> Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and
> upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the
> Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few
> generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much
> like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure"
> Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers,
> acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool,
> because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.
>
>
>
> Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate
> in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from
> species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species
> variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and
> bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged
> Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of
> the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the
> likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population.
> Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is
> probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.
>
>
>
> Hope this helps
>
>
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
>
>
>
> _____
>
> From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
> To: "BIRDWG01"
> Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Amar,
>
> Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to
> this interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
> Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary
> texts appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the
> accepted primary grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is
> correct, so would many of the N. Am rarities committees? Does this
> not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem
> like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
> Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
> To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull
> would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most
> records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're
> at with this species:
> person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.
>
> I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak
> gray scale values found in the current gull guides.
>
> Best,
> Amar
>
> Amar Ayyash
> www.anythinglarus.com
>
> > On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all
> > have a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the
> > Pacific NW hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan
> > today however I think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> > The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the
> > reference guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly
> > cannot possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
> >
> >
> >
> > Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> > Kodak scale 8-9 range.
> >
> > http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> > Op
> > u5k/s1
> > 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro
> > +H
> > okkaid
> > o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
> >
> > http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> > 1B
> > aCs/s1
> > 600/_MG_1352.JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> > 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
> >
> >
> >
> > If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most
> > closely resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook
> > Inlet Gull) here is a good match...
> >
> > http://gull-research.org/smith...
> >
> > ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
> GWG...
> >
> > http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> > 01
> > -01-09
> > .JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> > as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
> 2009-2012.
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> > Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> > Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> > to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare
> > south of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull
> > site N of Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to
> > molt fairly early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for.
> > My impression is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast.
> > At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into
> > mid-late winter as in
> Thayer's and Herring.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> > mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> > On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
> >
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> > experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> > subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> > But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> > assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply
> > too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is
> > difficult
> enough to achieve at the best of times.
> >
> > Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> > perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> > appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> > and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> > camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> > fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely
> > from photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool
> > provides some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than
> > one based
> solely on our visual perception.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale
> > tool, and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field
> > that the Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a
> > comparable primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
> >
> >
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> > least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> > than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing
> > entirely on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late
> > by standard references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> > American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> > birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> > journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of
> > arrested moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the
> > presence of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal
> > coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird
> > has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while
> > coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by
> > a young HG
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points
> > of interest.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Howell & Dunn
> >
> >
> >
> > "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey
> > wingtips (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
> >
> >
> >
> > Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is
> > roughly correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal
> > published range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and
> > Dunn. But it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what
> > studies specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> > American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> > element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> > hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey
> > scale
> > 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the
> > mantle
> shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
> >
> > The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Olsen & Larsson
> >
> >
> >
> > Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in
> > tone to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have
> > little difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2
> > levels above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird
> > similar to or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish
> > bird and it is described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again
> > without a clear explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at.
> > In the body text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale
> > level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for
> > Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> > This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> > analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and
> > how
> was
> the hybrid cut-off line determined.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In summary
> >
> >
> >
> > The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> > it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite
> > the bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> > currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> > obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> > better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a
> > hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my
> > analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both
> > the main published reference guides. This suggests that the
> > perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull
> > experts in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in
> > line with the current standard reference guides, for whom a primary
> > pattern grey-scale of
> >
> > 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> > specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any
> > genetic analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know
> > why birders consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater
> > than what is currently published.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> >
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull
Date: Tue Jan 12 2016 14:56 pm
From: nlethaby AT ti.com
 
Mike,

I don't think that likelihood of origin is going to be of much help in determining the purity of the GWGU. While the good news is that the GWGUs breeding in the Aleutians (which is relative near to the entrance to the Arctic Ocean compared to other populations) have darker wing-tips, it's pretty easy to think that a GWGU x HEGU hybrid that wintered in California could get mixed up with the arctic-breeding HEGUs and end up in the Arctic Ocean too.

Nick

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:12 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull

Hi,

Don't want to go fully reigniting this thread but thought people might be interested to know that Killian Mullarney found what appears to be Ireland (and the Western Palearctic's?) first Vega Gull in County Wexford over the weekend. This may provide some further evidence for the origin of the GWG. Link below.

http://www.irishbirding.com/bi...

Regards

Mike O'Keeffe
Ireland



-----Original Message-----
From: Mike O'Keeffe [mailto:okeeffeml@eircom.net]
Sent: 10 January 2016 09:47
To: 'BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU'
Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Dick,

Human's certainly do like to create artificial boundaries. We draw lines across a landscape and define countries. We define species lines which species regularly thread upon. We define national lists without knowing the true provenance or very often the genetic makeup of our vagrants. It's all flawed logic but as Alvaro put it humans need to be willing to accept uncertainty, and thats not currently in our makeup. But things could change. Perhaps future generations of kids will learn about the world and biology the way it exists and not by the rigid rules we were thought to apply to it. Its always easier to debate issues and find agreement when the rules are simple. When the rules are more flexible its easier to disagree then to agree. Maybe future generations will be more enlightened and the debates will move on a bit and there will be a new paradigm for dealing with the thorny issues of vagrancy and gene flow.

Regards

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: 09 January 2016 11:00
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Mike,
The European Herring Gull originated from some hybrid swarm in the past involving quite a few other 'species'. As a result, it is highly variable in appearance, but we are happy to call it one species. Doubtless the Glaucous-winged Gull is similar, it is just that some of the hybrid activity may be a bit more recent. How many generations back would you need to go to find a dark-winged ancestor of your gull, less than which you would not call it a Glaucous-winged Gull?

Barak Obama is called the first black president, but he has a caucasian mother. I read somewhere that in the US anybody who is at least 1/32 (5
generations) of African ancestor is classified as black. Although it is not politically incorrect to refer to the race of a person, all people are lumped.

The situation with the large white-headed gulls is similar, but we do our darndest to split them. So do we not need a policy decision. If a bird is 95% OK (as with your gull), then have it!

I realise that this would be the opposite policy than with black people, but since when was taxonomy logical? To a large extent it is driven by politics.
Dick, Cambridge, UK

On 9 January 2016 at 07:42, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,
>
>
>
> My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line
> with that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black
> and white view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think
> that traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a
> pragmatic approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and
> Elegant Tern for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for
> hybridization the tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt.
> Whether rightly or wrongly and whether the current committee will take
> the approach to the Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may
> never know what the right thing to do is in some cases.
>
>
>
> The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably
> due to receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in
> the Pacific these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup
> may provide a pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and Glaucous-winged (types).
> Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or
> Californian Gulls.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O’Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
> From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org]
> Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi –
>
>
>
> I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment
> until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on
> the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.
>
>
>
> I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s.
> I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in
> the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly
> similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker
> intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.
>
>
>
> More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the
> zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late
> 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.
>
>
>
> He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I
> agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and
> the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased
> through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the
> current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for
> both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.
>
>
>
> I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological
> signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression,
> some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the
> recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be
> used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was
> well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.
>
>
>
> For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider
> Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America.
> Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and
> upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the
> Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few
> generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much
> like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure"
> Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers,
> acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool,
> because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.
>
>
>
> Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate
> in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from
> species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species
> variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and
> bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged
> Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of
> the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the
> likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population.
> Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is
> probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.
>
>
>
> Hope this helps
>
>
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
>
>
>
> _____
>
> From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
> To: "BIRDWG01"
> Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Amar,
>
> Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to
> this interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
> Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary
> texts appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the
> accepted primary grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is
> correct, so would many of the N. Am rarities committees? Does this
> not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem
> like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
> Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
> To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull
> would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most
> records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're
> at with this species:
> person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.
>
> I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak
> gray scale values found in the current gull guides.
>
> Best,
> Amar
>
> Amar Ayyash
> www.anythinglarus.com
>
> > On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all
> > have a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the
> > Pacific NW hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan
> > today however I think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> > The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the
> > reference guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly
> > cannot possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
> >
> >
> >
> > Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> > Kodak scale 8-9 range.
> >
> > http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> > Op
> > u5k/s1
> > 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro
> > +H
> > okkaid
> > o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
> >
> > http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> > 1B
> > aCs/s1
> > 600/_MG_1352.JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> > 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
> >
> >
> >
> > If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most
> > closely resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook
> > Inlet Gull) here is a good match...
> >
> > http://gull-research.org/smith...
> >
> > ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
> GWG...
> >
> > http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> > 01
> > -01-09
> > .JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> > as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
> 2009-2012.
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> > Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> > Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> > to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare
> > south of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull
> > site N of Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to
> > molt fairly early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for.
> > My impression is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast.
> > At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into
> > mid-late winter as in
> Thayer's and Herring.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> > mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> > On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
> >
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> > experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> > subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> > But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> > assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply
> > too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is
> > difficult
> enough to achieve at the best of times.
> >
> > Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> > perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> > appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> > and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> > camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> > fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely
> > from photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool
> > provides some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than
> > one based
> solely on our visual perception.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale
> > tool, and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field
> > that the Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a
> > comparable primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
> >
> >
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> > least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> > than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing
> > entirely on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late
> > by standard references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> > American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> > birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> > journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of
> > arrested moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the
> > presence of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal
> > coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird
> > has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while
> > coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by
> > a young HG
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points
> > of interest.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Howell & Dunn
> >
> >
> >
> > "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey
> > wingtips (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
> >
> >
> >
> > Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is
> > roughly correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal
> > published range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and
> > Dunn. But it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what
> > studies specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> > American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> > element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> > hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey
> > scale
> > 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the
> > mantle
> shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
> >
> > The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Olsen & Larsson
> >
> >
> >
> > Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in
> > tone to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have
> > little difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2
> > levels above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird
> > similar to or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish
> > bird and it is described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again
> > without a clear explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at.
> > In the body text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale
> > level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for
> > Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> > This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> > analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and
> > how
> was
> the hybrid cut-off line determined.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In summary
> >
> >
> >
> > The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> > it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite
> > the bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> > currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> > obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> > better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a
> > hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my
> > analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both
> > the main published reference guides. This suggests that the
> > perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull
> > experts in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in
> > line with the current standard reference guides, for whom a primary
> > pattern grey-scale of
> >
> > 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> > specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any
> > genetic analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know
> > why birders consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater
> > than what is currently published.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> >
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull & now Irish Vega Gull
Date: Tue Jan 12 2016 14:27 pm
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Hi,

Don't want to go fully reigniting this thread but thought people might be interested to know that Killian Mullarney found what appears to be Ireland (and the Western Palearctic's?) first Vega Gull in County Wexford over the weekend. This may provide some further evidence for the origin of the GWG. Link below.

http://www.irishbirding.com/bi...

Regards

Mike O'Keeffe
Ireland



-----Original Message-----
From: Mike O'Keeffe [mailto:okeeffeml@eircom.net]
Sent: 10 January 2016 09:47
To: 'BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU'
Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Dick,

Human's certainly do like to create artificial boundaries. We draw lines across a landscape and define countries. We define species lines which species regularly thread upon. We define national lists without knowing the true provenance or very often the genetic makeup of our vagrants. It's all flawed logic but as Alvaro put it humans need to be willing to accept uncertainty, and thats not currently in our makeup. But things could change. Perhaps future generations of kids will learn about the world and biology the way it exists and not by the rigid rules we were thought to apply to it. Its always easier to debate issues and find agreement when the rules are simple. When the rules are more flexible its easier to disagree then to agree. Maybe future generations will be more enlightened and the debates will move on a bit and there will be a new paradigm for dealing with the thorny issues of vagrancy and gene flow.

Regards

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: 09 January 2016 11:00
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Mike,
The European Herring Gull originated from some hybrid swarm in the past involving quite a few other 'species'. As a result, it is highly variable in appearance, but we are happy to call it one species. Doubtless the Glaucous-winged Gull is similar, it is just that some of the hybrid activity may be a bit more recent. How many generations back would you need to go to find a dark-winged ancestor of your gull, less than which you would not call it a Glaucous-winged Gull?

Barak Obama is called the first black president, but he has a caucasian mother. I read somewhere that in the US anybody who is at least 1/32 (5
generations) of African ancestor is classified as black. Although it is not politically incorrect to refer to the race of a person, all people are lumped.

The situation with the large white-headed gulls is similar, but we do our darndest to split them. So do we not need a policy decision. If a bird is 95% OK (as with your gull), then have it!

I realise that this would be the opposite policy than with black people, but since when was taxonomy logical? To a large extent it is driven by politics.
Dick, Cambridge, UK

On 9 January 2016 at 07:42, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,
>
>
>
> My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line
> with that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black
> and white view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think
> that traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a
> pragmatic approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and
> Elegant Tern for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for
> hybridization the tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt.
> Whether rightly or wrongly and whether the current committee will take
> the approach to the Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may
> never know what the right thing to do is in some cases.
>
>
>
> The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably
> due to receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in
> the Pacific these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup
> may provide a pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and Glaucous-winged (types).
> Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or
> Californian Gulls.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O’Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
> From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org]
> Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi –
>
>
>
> I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment
> until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on
> the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.
>
>
>
> I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s.
> I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in
> the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly
> similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker
> intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.
>
>
>
> More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the
> zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late
> 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.
>
>
>
> He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I
> agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and
> the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased
> through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the
> current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for
> both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.
>
>
>
> I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological
> signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression,
> some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the
> recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be
> used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was
> well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.
>
>
>
> For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider
> Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America.
> Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and
> upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the
> Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few
> generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much
> like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure"
> Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers,
> acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool,
> because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.
>
>
>
> Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate
> in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from
> species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species
> variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and
> bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged
> Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of
> the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the
> likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population.
> Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is
> probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.
>
>
>
> Hope this helps
>
>
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
>
>
>
> _____
>
> From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
> To: "BIRDWG01"
> Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Amar,
>
> Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to
> this interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
> Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary
> texts appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the
> accepted primary grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is
> correct, so would many of the N. Am rarities committees? Does this
> not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem
> like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
> Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
> To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull
> would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most
> records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're
> at with this species:
> person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.
>
> I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak
> gray scale values found in the current gull guides.
>
> Best,
> Amar
>
> Amar Ayyash
> www.anythinglarus.com
>
> > On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all
> > have a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the
> > Pacific NW hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan
> > today however I think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> > The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the
> > reference guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly
> > cannot possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
> >
> >
> >
> > Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> > Kodak scale 8-9 range.
> >
> > http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> > Op
> > u5k/s1
> > 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro
> > +H
> > okkaid
> > o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
> >
> > http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> > 1B
> > aCs/s1
> > 600/_MG_1352.JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> > 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
> >
> >
> >
> > If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most
> > closely resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook
> > Inlet Gull) here is a good match...
> >
> > http://gull-research.org/smith...
> >
> > ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
> GWG...
> >
> > http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> > 01
> > -01-09
> > .JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> > as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
> 2009-2012.
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> > Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> > Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> > to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare
> > south of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull
> > site N of Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to
> > molt fairly early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for.
> > My impression is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast.
> > At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into
> > mid-late winter as in
> Thayer's and Herring.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> > mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> > On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
> >
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> > experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> > subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> > But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> > assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply
> > too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is
> > difficult
> enough to achieve at the best of times.
> >
> > Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> > perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> > appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> > and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> > camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> > fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely
> > from photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool
> > provides some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than
> > one based
> solely on our visual perception.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale
> > tool, and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field
> > that the Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a
> > comparable primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
> >
> >
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> > least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> > than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing
> > entirely on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late
> > by standard references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> > American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> > birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> > journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of
> > arrested moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the
> > presence of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal
> > coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird
> > has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while
> > coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by
> > a young HG
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points
> > of interest.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Howell & Dunn
> >
> >
> >
> > "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey
> > wingtips (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
> >
> >
> >
> > Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is
> > roughly correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal
> > published range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and
> > Dunn. But it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what
> > studies specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> > American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> > element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> > hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey
> > scale
> > 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the
> > mantle
> shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
> >
> > The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Olsen & Larsson
> >
> >
> >
> > Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in
> > tone to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have
> > little difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2
> > levels above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird
> > similar to or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish
> > bird and it is described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again
> > without a clear explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at.
> > In the body text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale
> > level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for
> > Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> > This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> > analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and
> > how
> was
> the hybrid cut-off line determined.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In summary
> >
> >
> >
> > The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> > it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite
> > the bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> > currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> > obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> > better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a
> > hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my
> > analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both
> > the main published reference guides. This suggests that the
> > perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull
> > experts in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in
> > line with the current standard reference guides, for whom a primary
> > pattern grey-scale of
> >
> > 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> > specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any
> > genetic analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know
> > why birders consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater
> > than what is currently published.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> >
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Sun Jan 10 2016 3:57 am
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Dick,

Human's certainly do like to create artificial boundaries. We draw lines across a landscape and define countries. We define species lines which species regularly thread upon. We define national lists without knowing the true provenance or very often the genetic makeup of our vagrants. It's all flawed logic but as Alvaro put it humans need to be willing to accept uncertainty, and thats not currently in our makeup. But things could change. Perhaps future generations of kids will learn about the world and biology the way it exists and not by the rigid rules we were thought to apply to it. Its always easier to debate issues and find agreement when the rules are simple. When the rules are more flexible its easier to disagree then to agree. Maybe future generations will be more enlightened and the debates will move on a bit and there will be a new paradigm for dealing with the thorny issues of vagrancy and gene flow.

Regards

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: 09 January 2016 11:00
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Mike,
The European Herring Gull originated from some hybrid swarm in the past involving quite a few other 'species'. As a result, it is highly variable in appearance, but we are happy to call it one species. Doubtless the Glaucous-winged Gull is similar, it is just that some of the hybrid activity may be a bit more recent. How many generations back would you need to go to find a dark-winged ancestor of your gull, less than which you would not call it a Glaucous-winged Gull?

Barak Obama is called the first black president, but he has a caucasian mother. I read somewhere that in the US anybody who is at least 1/32 (5
generations) of African ancestor is classified as black. Although it is not politically incorrect to refer to the race of a person, all people are lumped.

The situation with the large white-headed gulls is similar, but we do our darndest to split them. So do we not need a policy decision. If a bird is 95% OK (as with your gull), then have it!

I realise that this would be the opposite policy than with black people, but since when was taxonomy logical? To a large extent it is driven by politics.
Dick, Cambridge, UK

On 9 January 2016 at 07:42, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,
>
>
>
> My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line
> with that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black
> and white view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think
> that traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a
> pragmatic approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and
> Elegant Tern for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for
> hybridization the tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt.
> Whether rightly or wrongly and whether the current committee will take
> the approach to the Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may
> never know what the right thing to do is in some cases.
>
>
>
> The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably
> due to receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in
> the Pacific these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup
> may provide a pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and Glaucous-winged (types).
> Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or
> Californian Gulls.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O’Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
> From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org]
> Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi –
>
>
>
> I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment
> until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on
> the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.
>
>
>
> I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s.
> I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in
> the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly
> similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker
> intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.
>
>
>
> More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the
> zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late
> 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.
>
>
>
> He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I
> agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and
> the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased
> through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the
> current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for
> both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.
>
>
>
> I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological
> signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression,
> some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the
> recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be
> used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was
> well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.
>
>
>
> For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider
> Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America.
> Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and
> upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the
> Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few
> generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much
> like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure"
> Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers,
> acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool,
> because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.
>
>
>
> Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate
> in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from
> species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species
> variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and
> bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged
> Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of
> the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the
> likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population.
> Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is
> probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.
>
>
>
> Hope this helps
>
>
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
>
>
>
> _____
>
> From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
> To: "BIRDWG01"
> Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Amar,
>
> Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to
> this interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
> Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary
> texts appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the
> accepted primary grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is
> correct, so would many of the N. Am rarities committees? Does this
> not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem
> like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
> Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
> To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull
> would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most
> records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're
> at with this species:
> person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.
>
> I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak
> gray scale values found in the current gull guides.
>
> Best,
> Amar
>
> Amar Ayyash
> www.anythinglarus.com
>
> > On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all
> > have a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the
> > Pacific NW hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan
> > today however I think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> > The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the
> > reference guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly
> > cannot possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
> >
> >
> >
> > Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> > Kodak scale 8-9 range.
> >
> > http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> > Op
> > u5k/s1
> > 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro
> > +H
> > okkaid
> > o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
> >
> > http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> > 1B
> > aCs/s1
> > 600/_MG_1352.JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> > 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
> >
> >
> >
> > If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most
> > closely resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook
> > Inlet Gull) here is a good match...
> >
> > http://gull-research.org/smith...
> >
> > ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
> GWG...
> >
> > http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> > 01
> > -01-09
> > .JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> > as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
> 2009-2012.
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> > Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> > Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> > to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare
> > south of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull
> > site N of Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to
> > molt fairly early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for.
> > My impression is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast.
> > At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into
> > mid-late winter as in
> Thayer's and Herring.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> > mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> > On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
> >
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> > experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> > subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> > But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> > assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply
> > too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is
> > difficult
> enough to achieve at the best of times.
> >
> > Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> > perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> > appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> > and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> > camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> > fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely
> > from photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool
> > provides some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than
> > one based
> solely on our visual perception.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale
> > tool, and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field
> > that the Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a
> > comparable primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
> >
> >
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> > least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> > than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing
> > entirely on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late
> > by standard references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> > American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> > birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> > journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of
> > arrested moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the
> > presence of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal
> > coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird
> > has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while
> > coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by
> > a young HG
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points
> > of interest.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Howell & Dunn
> >
> >
> >
> > "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey
> > wingtips (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
> >
> >
> >
> > Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is
> > roughly correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal
> > published range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and
> > Dunn. But it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what
> > studies specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> > American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> > element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> > hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey
> > scale
> > 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the
> > mantle
> shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
> >
> > The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Olsen & Larsson
> >
> >
> >
> > Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in
> > tone to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have
> > little difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2
> > levels above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird
> > similar to or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish
> > bird and it is described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again
> > without a clear explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at.
> > In the body text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale
> > level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for
> > Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> > This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> > analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and
> > how
> was
> the hybrid cut-off line determined.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In summary
> >
> >
> >
> > The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> > it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite
> > the bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> > currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> > obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> > better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a
> > hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my
> > analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both
> > the main published reference guides. This suggests that the
> > perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull
> > experts in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in
> > line with the current standard reference guides, for whom a primary
> > pattern grey-scale of
> >
> > 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> > specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any
> > genetic analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know
> > why birders consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater
> > than what is currently published.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> >
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
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> > te=smt
> >
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> >
> >
> >
> > Archives:
> > http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
> >
> >
> > This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
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>
>
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Sun Jan 10 2016 3:43 am
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Hi Chris,

Birders in Ireland are not beyond collecting feathers and poo for DNA analysis and have had success in confirming Northern Harrier, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Desert Lesser Whitethroat, abeitinus race Chiffchaff etc, settling various questions. Its certainly a brilliant tool! Hopefully someone will get lucky with this bird.

Regards

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Chris Corben
Sent: 09 January 2016 12:18
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

No-one ever seems to talk about getting genetic samples from vagrant gulls such as this. Lots of efforts to take great photos, but why isn't there an automatic move to make the effort to collect shed feathers or faeces samples? These are gulls - it shouldn't be that difficult if the effort was made.

It's not like a genetic sample is going to solve anything in the short term, but it is easy to preserve such material which can become a permanent record for future analysis. If the identity matters, why not make the effort?

Chris.

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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Sat Jan 9 2016 15:57 pm
From: dick.newell AT gmail.com
 
Hi Alvaro,
I didn't use my words carefully enough. I was trying to say that the
current European Herring Gull is a mixture of several ancestors (so much
for phylogenetic 'trees'). I am not sure of the semantic difference between
an overlap zone, in which hybridisation occurs, and a hybrid swarm. The
Herring Gull probably overlapped multiple times with other 'species' with
which it hybridised.

It seems to me that the current Glaucous-winged Gull is maybe the same.
Just how far back does a dark-winged ancestor need to be in order for it
not to be disqualified.

In the case of the Irish Gull, if it had a dark-winged ancestor, I would
guess it was several (more than one) generations back as it looks so good
in all respects. Even the dark primaries are OK for some people.

So rather than hand ringing and going in circles, why not make a simple
policy decision?

As regards jaeger/skua ancestry, I have not read any convincing explanation
of how the current situation arose - has there been anything recent to
explain it?
Dick

On 9 January 2016 at 21:21, Alvaro Jaramillo wrote:

> Dick,
>
> I have read that one, but did not interpret it as you did. I think what
> they are saying is that the original lineage of argentatus had a historical
> introgression (hybridization) event with members of the Caspian-Lesser BB
> group. So genes are retained in the current argentatus from that event. But
> your note suggests that argentatus arose from a hybrid lineage, as is
> thought Pomarine Jaeger/Skua did, or Audubon’s Warbler, various Darwin’s
> Finches etc. I don’t think that this paper suggests a hybrid swarm that
> then generated a new lineage. I know, it is picky, but these seem to be
> very different scenarios to me. Of course I may have misunderstood this
> paper entirely!
>
> Alvaro
>
>
>
> Alvaro Jaramillo
>
> alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
>
> www.alvarosadventures.com
>
>
>
> *From:* Dick Newell [mailto:dick.newell@gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Saturday, January 9, 2016 12:59 PM
> *To:* Alvaro Jaramillo
> *Subject:* Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Try this
>
> Alvaro
>
> Dick
>
>
>
> On 9 January 2016 at 20:55, Alvaro Jaramillo wrote:
>
> Dick,
> What is the reference for the European Herring Gull originating from a
> hybrid swarm? That is new to me.
> Regards
> Alvaro
>
> Alvaro Jaramillo
> alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
> www.alvarosadventures.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:
> BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
> Sent: Saturday, January 9, 2016 3:00 AM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
> Mike,
> The European Herring Gull originated from some hybrid swarm in the past
> involving quite a few other 'species'. As a result, it is highly variable
> in appearance, but we are happy to call it one species. Doubtless the
> Glaucous-winged Gull is similar, it is just that some of the hybrid
> activity may be a bit more recent. How many generations back would you need
> to go to find a dark-winged ancestor of your gull, less than which you
> would not call it a Glaucous-winged Gull?
>
> Barak Obama is called the first black president, but he has a caucasian
> mother. I read somewhere that in the US anybody who is at least 1/32 (5
> generations) of African ancestor is classified as black. Although it is
> not politically incorrect to refer to the race of a person, all people are
> lumped.
>
> The situation with the large white-headed gulls is similar, but we do our
> darndest to split them. So do we not need a policy decision. If a bird is
> 95% OK (as with your gull), then have it!
>
> I realise that this would be the opposite policy than with black people,
> but since when was taxonomy logical? To a large extent it is driven by
> politics.
> Dick, Cambridge, UK
>
> On 9 January 2016 at 07:42, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
>
> > Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,
> >
> >
> >
> > My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line
> > with that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black
> > and white view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think
> > that traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a
> > pragmatic approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and
> > Elegant Tern for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for
> > hybridization the tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt.
> > Whether rightly or wrongly and whether the current committee will take
> > the approach to the Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may
> > never know what the right thing to do is in some cases.
> >
> >
> >
> > The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably
> > due to receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in
> > the Pacific these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup
> > may provide a pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and
> Glaucous-winged (types).
> > Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or
> > Californian Gulls.
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O’Keeffe
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org]
> > Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe
> > Cc: BIRDWG01
> > Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi –
> >
> >
> >
> > I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment
> > until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on
> > the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.
> >
> >
> >
> > I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s.
> > I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in
> > the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly
> > similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker
> > intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler
> and so on.
> >
> >
> >
> > More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the
> > zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late
> > 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.
> >
> >
> >
> > He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I
> > agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and
> > the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased
> > through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the
> > current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for
> > both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food
> sources.
> >
> >
> >
> > I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological
> > signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression,
> > some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the
> > recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be
> > used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was
> > well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.
> >
> >
> >
> > For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider
> > Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America.
> > Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and
> > upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the
> > Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few
> > generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much
> > like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed
> ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure"
> > Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers,
> > acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool,
> > because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.
> >
> >
> >
> > Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate
> > in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from
> > species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species
> > variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and
> > bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged
> > Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of
> > the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the
> > likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in
> the Glaucous-winged Gull population.
> > Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is
> > probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.
> >
> >
> >
> > Hope this helps
> >
> >
> >
> > Wayne Hoffman
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _____
> >
> > From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
> > To: "BIRDWG01"
> > Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
> > Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Amar,
> >
> > Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to
> > this interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog
> post.
> > Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary
> > texts appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the
> > accepted primary grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is
> > correct, so would many of the N. Am rarities committees? Does this
> > not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem
> > like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be
> cracked.
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Mike
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
> > Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe
> > Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> > To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull
> > would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most
> > records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're
> > at with this species:
> > person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.
> >
> > I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak
> > gray scale values found in the current gull guides.
> >
> > Best,
> > Amar
> >
> > Amar Ayyash
> > www.anythinglarus.com
> >
> > > On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe
> wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all
> > > have a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the
> > > Pacific NW hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan
> > > today however I think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I
> am concerned.
> > > The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the
> > > reference guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly
> > > cannot possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> > > Kodak scale 8-9 range.
> > >
> > > http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> > > Op
> > > u5k/s1
> > > 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro
> > > +H
> > > okkaid
> > > o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
> > >
> > > http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> > > 1B
> > > aCs/s1
> > > 600/_MG_1352.JPG
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> > > 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
> > >
> > > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> > >
> > > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> > >
> > > http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most
> > > closely resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook
> > > Inlet Gull) here is a good match...
> > >
> > > http://gull-research.org/smith...
> > >
> > > ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
> > GWG...
> > >
> > > http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> > > 01
> > > -01-09
> > > .JPG
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> > > as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
> > 2009-2012.
> > >
> > > http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> > > ce
> > > ns.htm
> > > l
> > >
> > > http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> > > ce
> > > ns.htm
> > > l
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Regards
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Mike O'Keeffe
> > >
> > > Ireland
> > >
> > > http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> > > sc
> > > ales-a
> > > nd-gulls.html
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> > > Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> > > To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > > Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> > > Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> > > to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare
> > > south of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull
> > > site N of Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to
> > > molt fairly early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for.
> > > My impression is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast.
> > > At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into
> > > mid-late winter as in
> > Thayer's and Herring.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > >
> > > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> > > mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> > > On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
> > >
> > > Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
> > >
> > > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > >
> > > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> > > experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> > > subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> > > But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> > > assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply
> > > too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is
> > > difficult
> > enough to achieve at the best of times.
> > >
> > > Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> > > perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> > > appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> > > and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> > > camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> > > fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely
> > > from photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool
> > > provides some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than
> > > one based
> > solely on our visual perception.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale
> > > tool, and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field
> > > that the Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a
> > > comparable primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and
> probably 11 or 12.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-
> > > sc
> > > ales-a
> > > nd-gulls.html
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> > > least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> > > than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing
> > > entirely on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late
> > > by standard references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's
> normal N.
> > > American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> > > birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> > > journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of
> > > arrested moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the
> > > presence of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal
> > > coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird
> > > has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while
> > > coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by
> > > a young HG
> > >
> > >
> > > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points
> > > of interest.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Howell & Dunn
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey
> > > wingtips (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is
> > > roughly correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal
> > > published range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and
> > > Dunn. But it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what
> > > studies specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely
> on N.
> > > American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> > > element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> > > hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey
> > > scale
> > > 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the
> > > mantle
> > shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
> > >
> > > The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Olsen & Larsson
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in
> > > tone to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have
> > > little difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2
> > > levels above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird
> > > similar to or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish
> > > bird and it is described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again
> > > without a clear explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at.
> > > In the body text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale
> > > level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for
> > > Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey
> scale 10-12".
> > > This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> > > analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and
> > > how
> > was
> > the hybrid cut-off line determined.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > In summary
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> > > it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite
> > > the bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> > > currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> > > obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> > > better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a
> > > hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my
> > > analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both
> > > the main published reference guides. This suggests that the
> > > perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull
> > > experts in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in
> > > line with the current standard reference guides, for whom a primary
> > > pattern grey-scale of
> > >
> > > 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> > > specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any
> > > genetic analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know
> > > why birders consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater
> > > than what is currently published.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Regards
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Mike O'Keeffe
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Ireland
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Sat Jan 9 2016 15:31 pm
From: chucao AT coastside.net
 
Dick, 

I have read that one, but did not interpret it as you did. I think what they are saying is that the original lineage of argentatus had a historical introgression (hybridization) event with members of the Caspian-Lesser BB group. So genes are retained in the current argentatus from that event. But your note suggests that argentatus arose from a hybrid lineage, as is thought Pomarine Jaeger/Skua did, or Audubon’s Warbler, various Darwin’s Finches etc. I don’t think that this paper suggests a hybrid swarm that then generated a new lineage. I know, it is picky, but these seem to be very different scenarios to me. Of course I may have misunderstood this paper entirely!

Alvaro



Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com



From: Dick Newell [mailto:dick.newell@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 9, 2016 12:59 PM
To: Alvaro Jaramillo
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull



Try this Alvaro

Dick



On 9 January 2016 at 20:55, Alvaro Jaramillo wrote:

Dick,
What is the reference for the European Herring Gull originating from a hybrid swarm? That is new to me.
Regards
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com



-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU ] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: Saturday, January 9, 2016 3:00 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Mike,
The European Herring Gull originated from some hybrid swarm in the past involving quite a few other 'species'. As a result, it is highly variable in appearance, but we are happy to call it one species. Doubtless the Glaucous-winged Gull is similar, it is just that some of the hybrid activity may be a bit more recent. How many generations back would you need to go to find a dark-winged ancestor of your gull, less than which you would not call it a Glaucous-winged Gull?

Barak Obama is called the first black president, but he has a caucasian mother. I read somewhere that in the US anybody who is at least 1/32 (5
generations) of African ancestor is classified as black. Although it is not politically incorrect to refer to the race of a person, all people are lumped.

The situation with the large white-headed gulls is similar, but we do our darndest to split them. So do we not need a policy decision. If a bird is 95% OK (as with your gull), then have it!

I realise that this would be the opposite policy than with black people, but since when was taxonomy logical? To a large extent it is driven by politics.
Dick, Cambridge, UK

On 9 January 2016 at 07:42, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,
>
>
>
> My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line
> with that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black
> and white view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think
> that traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a
> pragmatic approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and
> Elegant Tern for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for
> hybridization the tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt.
> Whether rightly or wrongly and whether the current committee will take
> the approach to the Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may
> never know what the right thing to do is in some cases.
>
>
>
> The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably
> due to receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in
> the Pacific these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup
> may provide a pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and Glaucous-winged (types).
> Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or
> Californian Gulls.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O’Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
> From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org ]
> Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi –
>
>
>
> I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment
> until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on
> the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.
>
>
>
> I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s.
> I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in
> the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly
> similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker
> intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.
>
>
>
> More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the
> zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late
> 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.
>
>
>
> He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I
> agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and
> the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased
> through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the
> current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for
> both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.
>
>
>
> I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological
> signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression,
> some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the
> recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be
> used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was
> well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.
>
>
>
> For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider
> Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America.
> Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and
> upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the
> Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few
> generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much
> like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure"
> Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers,
> acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool,
> because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.
>
>
>
> Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate
> in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from
> species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species
> variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and
> bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged
> Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of
> the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the
> likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population.
> Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is
> probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.
>
>
>
> Hope this helps
>
>
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
>
>
>
> _____
>
> From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
> To: "BIRDWG01"
> Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Amar,
>
> Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to
> this interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
> Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary
> texts appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the
> accepted primary grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is
> correct, so would many of the N. Am rarities committees? Does this
> not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem
> like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com ]
> Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
> To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull
> would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most
> records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're
> at with this species:
> person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.
>
> I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak
> gray scale values found in the current gull guides.
>
> Best,
> Amar
>
> Amar Ayyash
> www.anythinglarus.com
>
> > On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all
> > have a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the
> > Pacific NW hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan
> > today however I think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> > The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the
> > reference guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly
> > cannot possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
> >
> >
> >
> > Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> > Kodak scale 8-9 range.
> >
> > http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> > Op
> > u5k/s1
> > 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro
> > +H
> > okkaid
> > o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
> >
> > http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> > 1B
> > aCs/s1
> > 600/_MG_1352.JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> > 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
> >
> >
> >
> > If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most
> > closely resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook
> > Inlet Gull) here is a good match...
> >
> > http://gull-research.org/smith...
> >
> > ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
> GWG...
> >
> > http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> > 01
> > -01-09
> > .JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> > as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
> 2009-2012.
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com ]
> > Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> > Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> > to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare
> > south of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull
> > site N of Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to
> > molt fairly early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for.
> > My impression is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast.
> > At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into
> > mid-late winter as in
> Thayer's and Herring.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> > mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU ]
> > On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
> >
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> > experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> > subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> > But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> > assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply
> > too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is
> > difficult
> enough to achieve at the best of times.
> >
> > Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> > perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> > appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> > and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> > camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> > fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely
> > from photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool
> > provides some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than
> > one based
> solely on our visual perception.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale
> > tool, and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field
> > that the Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a
> > comparable primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
> >
> >
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> > least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> > than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing
> > entirely on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late
> > by standard references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> > American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> > birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> > journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of
> > arrested moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the
> > presence of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal
> > coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird
> > has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while
> > coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by
> > a young HG
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points
> > of interest.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Howell & Dunn
> >
> >
> >
> > "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey
> > wingtips (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
> >
> >
> >
> > Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is
> > roughly correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal
> > published range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and
> > Dunn. But it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what
> > studies specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> > American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> > element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> > hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey
> > scale
> > 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the
> > mantle
> shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
> >
> > The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Olsen & Larsson
> >
> >
> >
> > Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in
> > tone to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have
> > little difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2
> > levels above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird
> > similar to or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish
> > bird and it is described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again
> > without a clear explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at.
> > In the body text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale
> > level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for
> > Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> > This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> > analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and
> > how
> was
> the hybrid cut-off line determined.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In summary
> >
> >
> >
> > The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> > it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite
> > the bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> > currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> > obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> > better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a
> > hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my
> > analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both
> > the main published reference guides. This suggests that the
> > perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull
> > experts in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in
> > line with the current standard reference guides, for whom a primary
> > pattern grey-scale of
> >
> > 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> > specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any
> > genetic analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know
> > why birders consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater
> > than what is currently published.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> >
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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> >
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Sat Jan 9 2016 15:06 pm
From: chucao AT coastside.net
 
Dick,
What is the reference for the European Herring Gull originating from a hybrid swarm? That is new to me.
Regards
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: Saturday, January 9, 2016 3:00 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Mike,
The European Herring Gull originated from some hybrid swarm in the past involving quite a few other 'species'. As a result, it is highly variable in appearance, but we are happy to call it one species. Doubtless the Glaucous-winged Gull is similar, it is just that some of the hybrid activity may be a bit more recent. How many generations back would you need to go to find a dark-winged ancestor of your gull, less than which you would not call it a Glaucous-winged Gull?

Barak Obama is called the first black president, but he has a caucasian mother. I read somewhere that in the US anybody who is at least 1/32 (5
generations) of African ancestor is classified as black. Although it is not politically incorrect to refer to the race of a person, all people are lumped.

The situation with the large white-headed gulls is similar, but we do our darndest to split them. So do we not need a policy decision. If a bird is 95% OK (as with your gull), then have it!

I realise that this would be the opposite policy than with black people, but since when was taxonomy logical? To a large extent it is driven by politics.
Dick, Cambridge, UK

On 9 January 2016 at 07:42, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,
>
>
>
> My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line
> with that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black
> and white view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think
> that traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a
> pragmatic approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and
> Elegant Tern for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for
> hybridization the tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt.
> Whether rightly or wrongly and whether the current committee will take
> the approach to the Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may
> never know what the right thing to do is in some cases.
>
>
>
> The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably
> due to receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in
> the Pacific these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup
> may provide a pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and Glaucous-winged (types).
> Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or
> Californian Gulls.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O’Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
> From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org]
> Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi –
>
>
>
> I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment
> until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on
> the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.
>
>
>
> I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s.
> I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in
> the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly
> similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker
> intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.
>
>
>
> More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the
> zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late
> 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.
>
>
>
> He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I
> agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and
> the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased
> through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the
> current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for
> both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.
>
>
>
> I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological
> signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression,
> some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the
> recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be
> used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was
> well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.
>
>
>
> For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider
> Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America.
> Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and
> upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the
> Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few
> generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much
> like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure"
> Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers,
> acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool,
> because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.
>
>
>
> Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate
> in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from
> species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species
> variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and
> bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged
> Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of
> the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the
> likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population.
> Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is
> probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.
>
>
>
> Hope this helps
>
>
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
>
>
>
> _____
>
> From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
> To: "BIRDWG01"
> Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Amar,
>
> Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to
> this interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
> Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary
> texts appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the
> accepted primary grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is
> correct, so would many of the N. Am rarities committees? Does this
> not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem
> like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
> Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
> To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull
> would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most
> records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're
> at with this species:
> person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.
>
> I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak
> gray scale values found in the current gull guides.
>
> Best,
> Amar
>
> Amar Ayyash
> www.anythinglarus.com
>
> > On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all
> > have a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the
> > Pacific NW hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan
> > today however I think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> > The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the
> > reference guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly
> > cannot possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
> >
> >
> >
> > Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> > Kodak scale 8-9 range.
> >
> > http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> > Op
> > u5k/s1
> > 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro
> > +H
> > okkaid
> > o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
> >
> > http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> > 1B
> > aCs/s1
> > 600/_MG_1352.JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> > 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
> >
> >
> >
> > If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most
> > closely resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook
> > Inlet Gull) here is a good match...
> >
> > http://gull-research.org/smith...
> >
> > ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
> GWG...
> >
> > http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> > 01
> > -01-09
> > .JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> > as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
> 2009-2012.
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> > ce
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> > Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> > Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> > to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare
> > south of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull
> > site N of Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to
> > molt fairly early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for.
> > My impression is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast.
> > At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into
> > mid-late winter as in
> Thayer's and Herring.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> > mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> > On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
> >
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> > experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> > subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> > But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> > assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply
> > too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is
> > difficult
> enough to achieve at the best of times.
> >
> > Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> > perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> > appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> > and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> > camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> > fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely
> > from photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool
> > provides some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than
> > one based
> solely on our visual perception.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale
> > tool, and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field
> > that the Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a
> > comparable primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
> >
> >
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-
> > sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> > least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> > than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing
> > entirely on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late
> > by standard references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> > American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> > birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> > journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of
> > arrested moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the
> > presence of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal
> > coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird
> > has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while
> > coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by
> > a young HG
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points
> > of interest.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Howell & Dunn
> >
> >
> >
> > "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey
> > wingtips (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
> >
> >
> >
> > Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is
> > roughly correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal
> > published range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and
> > Dunn. But it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what
> > studies specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> > American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> > element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> > hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey
> > scale
> > 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the
> > mantle
> shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
> >
> > The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Olsen & Larsson
> >
> >
> >
> > Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in
> > tone to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have
> > little difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2
> > levels above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird
> > similar to or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish
> > bird and it is described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again
> > without a clear explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at.
> > In the body text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale
> > level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for
> > Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> > This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> > analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and
> > how
> was
> the hybrid cut-off line determined.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In summary
> >
> >
> >
> > The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> > it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite
> > the bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> > currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> > obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> > better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a
> > hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my
> > analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both
> > the main published reference guides. This suggests that the
> > perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull
> > experts in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in
> > line with the current standard reference guides, for whom a primary
> > pattern grey-scale of
> >
> > 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> > specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any
> > genetic analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know
> > why birders consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater
> > than what is currently published.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> >
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Sat Jan 9 2016 6:26 am
From: cjcorben AT hoarybat.com
 
No-one ever seems to talk about getting genetic samples from vagrant
gulls such as this. Lots of efforts to take great photos, but why isn't
there an automatic move to make the effort to collect shed feathers or
faeces samples? These are gulls - it shouldn't be that difficult if the
effort was made.

It's not like a genetic sample is going to solve anything in the short
term, but it is easy to preserve such material which can become a
permanent record for future analysis. If the identity matters, why not
make the effort?

Chris.

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Sat Jan 9 2016 5:08 am
From: dick.newell AT gmail.com
 
Mike,
The European Herring Gull originated from some hybrid swarm in the past
involving quite a few other 'species'. As a result, it is highly variable
in appearance, but we are happy to call it one species. Doubtless the
Glaucous-winged Gull is similar, it is just that some of the hybrid
activity may be a bit more recent. How many generations back would you need
to go to find a dark-winged ancestor of your gull, less than which you
would not call it a Glaucous-winged Gull?

Barak Obama is called the first black president, but he has a caucasian
mother. I read somewhere that in the US anybody who is at least 1/32 (5
generations) of African ancestor is classified as black. Although it is not
politically incorrect to refer to the race of a person, all people are
lumped.

The situation with the large white-headed gulls is similar, but we do our
darndest to split them. So do we not need a policy decision. If a bird is
95% OK (as with your gull), then have it!

I realise that this would be the opposite policy than with black people,
but since when was taxonomy logical? To a large extent it is driven by
politics.
Dick, Cambridge, UK

On 9 January 2016 at 07:42, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,
>
>
>
> My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line with
> that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black and white
> view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think that
> traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a pragmatic
> approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and Elegant Tern
> for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for hybridization the
> tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt. Whether rightly or
> wrongly and whether the current committee will take the approach to the
> Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may never know what the
> right thing to do is in some cases.
>
>
>
> The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably due to
> receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in the Pacific
> these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup may provide a
> pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and Glaucous-winged (types).
> Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or Californian
> Gulls.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O’Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
> From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org]
> Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi –
>
>
>
> I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment until
> now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on the
> variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.
>
>
>
> I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s. I
> found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in the
> middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly similiar to
> themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker intermediates were paired
> with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.
>
>
>
> More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the zone
> of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late 1990s,
> early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.
>
>
>
> He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I
> agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and the
> frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased through
> time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the current
> situation to be an upswing related to population increases for both species
> that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.
>
>
>
> I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological signal
> found in each population is the result of recent introgression, some is a
> relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the recipient
> population. I think that this ancient signal should not be used to label
> birds as hybrids, because it presumably was well-integrated into the genome
> of the recipient species.
>
>
>
> For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider Golden-winged
> and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America. Briefly, Blue-wings are
> expanding their breeding range north and upslope into that of Golden-wings,
> which are becoming rare. When the Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize,
> but after relatively few generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds
> all look pretty much like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show
> evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure"
> Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers,
> acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool, because
> otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.
>
>
>
> Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate in
> multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from species
> norms in only one trait to be within the within-species variation. Thus, I
> would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and bill colors but darker
> wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged Gull. Further, since we
> apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of the Japanese birds to a known
> zone of overlap and hybridization, the likely explanation is that it is a
> relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population.
> Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is probably
> as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.
>
>
>
> Hope this helps
>
>
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
>
>
>
> _____
>
> From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
> To: "BIRDWG01"
> Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Amar,
>
> Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to this
> interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
> Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary texts
> appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the accepted primary
> grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is correct, so would many of
> the N. Am rarities committees? Does this not represent a potential blind
> spot. While the hybrid mess may seem like an insurmountable challenge all
> puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
> Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
> To: Mike O'Keeffe
> Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
> To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull would
> very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most records
> committees
> in North America, if not all. This is where we're at with this species:
> person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.
>
> I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak gray
> scale values found in the current gull guides.
>
> Best,
> Amar
>
> Amar Ayyash
> www.anythinglarus.com
>
> > On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all have
> > a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the Pacific NW
> > hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan today however I
> > think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> > The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the reference
> > guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly cannot
> > possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
> >
> >
> >
> > Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> > Kodak scale 8-9 range.
> >
> > http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> > u5k/s1
> > 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro+H
> > okkaid
> > o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
> >
> > http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> > aCs/s1
> > 600/_MG_1352.JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> > 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
> >
> >
> >
> > If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most closely
> > resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook Inlet Gull)
> > here is a good match...
> >
> > http://gull-research.org/smith...
> >
> > ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
> GWG...
> >
> > http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> > -01-09
> > .JPG
> >
> >
> >
> > The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> > as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
> 2009-2012.
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> > http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> > ns.htm
> > l
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> > Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> > To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> > Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> > to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare south
> > of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull site N of
> > Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to molt fairly
> > early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for. My impression
> > is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast. At least one
> > doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into mid-late winter as in
> Thayer's and Herring.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> > mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> > On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> > Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
> >
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> > experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> > subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> > But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> > assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply too
> > many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is difficult
> enough to achieve at the best of times.
> >
> > Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> > perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> > appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> > and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> > camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> > fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely from
> > photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool provides
> > some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than one based
> solely on our visual perception.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale tool,
> > and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field that the
> > Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a comparable
> > primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
> >
> >
> >
> > http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-sc
> > ales-a
> > nd-gulls.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> > least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> > than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing entirely
> > on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late by standard
> > references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> > American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> > birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> > journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of arrested
> > moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the presence
> > of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal coverts, plus
> > a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird has had a rough
> > ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while coming to bread
> > at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by a young HG
> >
> >
> > https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points of
> > interest.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Howell & Dunn
> >
> >
> >
> > "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey wingtips
> > (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
> >
> >
> >
> > Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is roughly
> > correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal published
> > range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and Dunn. But
> > it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what studies
> > specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> > American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> > element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> > hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey scale
> > 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the mantle
> shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
> >
> > The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Olsen & Larsson
> >
> >
> >
> > Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in tone
> > to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have little
> > difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2 levels
> > above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird similar to
> > or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish bird and it is
> > described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again without a clear
> > explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at. In the body
> > text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale level) 8-12
> > probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for Glaucous-winged
> > X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> > This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> > analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and how
> was
> the hybrid cut-off line determined.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In summary
> >
> >
> >
> > The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> > it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite the
> > bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> > currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> > obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> > better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a hybrid
> > or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my analysis
> > if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both the main
> > published reference guides. This suggests that the perception of what
> > is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull experts in N.Am in terms
> > of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in line with the current
> > standard reference guides, for whom a primary pattern grey-scale of
> >
> > 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> > specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any genetic
> > analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know why birders
> > consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater than what is
> > currently published.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Mike O'Keeffe
> >
> >
> >
> > Ireland
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
> >
> > For more info visit www.bullguard.com
> >
> > http://www.bullguard.com/tracking.aspx?affiliate=bullguard&buyaffilia%0b>
> &buyaffilia
> > te=smt
> >
> > p&url=/>
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives:
> > http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
> >
> >
> > This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
> > For more info visit www.bullguard.com
> > http://www.bullguard.com/tracking.aspx?affiliate=bullguard&buyaffilia%0b>
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> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com <
> http://www.bullguard.com/tracking.aspx?affiliate=bullguard&buyaffiliate=smtp&url=/
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> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Sat Jan 9 2016 1:53 am
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Hi and thanks for continuing the thread,



My own personal approach to vagrancy would probably be more in line with that of Alvaro and Wayne than with the more conservative, black and white view of things. There is merits in both stances. I think that traditionally the Irish Rarities Committee would have taken a pragmatic approach when dealing with questions like Thayer’s Gull and Elegant Tern for instance. With the lack of strong evidence for hybridization the tendency has been to give the benefit of the doubt. Whether rightly or wrongly and whether the current committee will take the approach to the Irish GWG no matter. At the end of the day we may never know what the right thing to do is in some cases.



The recent increase in Pacific gulls reaching NW Europe, presumably due to receding Arctic ice obviously raises the question of where in the Pacific these birds are coming from. Perhaps the species makeup may provide a pointer. We have been getting Slaty-backed and Glaucous-winged (types). Interestingly no yet confirmed or suspected Western, Mew or Californian Gulls.



Regards



Mike O’Keeffe

Ireland





From: whoffman@peak.org [mailto:whoffman@peak.org]
Sent: 09 January 2016 03:10
To: Mike O'Keeffe
Cc: BIRDWG01
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull



Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull



Hi –



I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.



I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s. I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.



More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.



He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.



I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression, some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.



For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America. Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure" Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers, acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool, because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.



Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population. Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.



Hope this helps



Wayne Hoffman





_____

From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
To: "BIRDWG01"
Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull



Amar,

Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to this
interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary texts
appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the accepted primary
grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is correct, so would many of
the N. Am rarities committees? Does this not represent a potential blind
spot. While the hybrid mess may seem like an insurmountable challenge all
puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.

Regards

Mike





-----Original Message-----
From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
To: Mike O'Keeffe
Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull would
very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most records committees
in North America, if not all. This is where we're at with this species:
person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.

I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak gray
scale values found in the current gull guides.

Best,
Amar

Amar Ayyash
www.anythinglarus.com

> On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
> Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all have
> a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the Pacific NW
> hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan today however I
> think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the reference
> guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly cannot
> possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
>
>
>
> Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> Kodak scale 8-9 range.
>
> http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> u5k/s1
> 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro+H
> okkaid
> o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
>
> http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> aCs/s1
> 600/_MG_1352.JPG
>
>
>
> And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
>
>
>
> If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most closely
> resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook Inlet Gull)
> here is a good match...
>
> http://gull-research.org/smith...
>
> ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
GWG...
>
> http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> -01-09
> .JPG
>
>
>
> The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
2009-2012.
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> ns.htm
> l
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> ns.htm
> l
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare south
> of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull site N of
> Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to molt fairly
> early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for. My impression
> is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast. At least one
> doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into mid-late winter as in
Thayer's and Herring.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
>
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
>
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
>
>
> Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply too
> many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is difficult
enough to achieve at the best of times.
>
> Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely from
> photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool provides
> some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than one based
solely on our visual perception.
>
>
>
>
>
> I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale tool,
> and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field that the
> Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a comparable
> primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
>
>
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-sc
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing entirely
> on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late by standard
> references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of arrested
> moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the presence
> of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal coverts, plus
> a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird has had a rough
> ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while coming to bread
> at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by a young HG
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points of
> interest.
>
>
>
>
>
> Howell & Dunn
>
>
>
> "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey wingtips
> (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
>
>
>
> Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is roughly
> correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal published
> range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and Dunn. But
> it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what studies
> specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey scale
> 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the mantle
shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
>
> The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
>
>
>
>
>
> Olsen & Larsson
>
>
>
> Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in tone
> to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have little
> difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2 levels
> above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird similar to
> or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish bird and it is
> described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again without a clear
> explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at. In the body
> text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale level) 8-12
> probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for Glaucous-winged
> X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and how was
the hybrid cut-off line determined.
>
>
>
>
>
> In summary
>
>
>
> The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite the
> bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a hybrid
> or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my analysis
> if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both the main
> published reference guides. This suggests that the perception of what
> is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull experts in N.Am in terms
> of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in line with the current
> standard reference guides, for whom a primary pattern grey-scale of
>
> 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any genetic
> analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know why birders
> consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater than what is
> currently published.
>
>
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
>
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Fri Jan 8 2016 21:19 pm
From: whoffman AT peak.org
 
Re: Irish Claucous-winged Gull 



Hi –




I have been following this thread but have not had time to comment until now. In an earlier post the question was raised of research on the variation in wingtip color in non-hybrid GW Gulls.



I studied hybridization between GW and Western Gulls in the mid-1970s. I found extensive hybridization, of course, but a strong tendency in the middle of the zone for birds to be mated to individuals fairly similiar to themselves on a hybrid index. Thus, most darker intermediates were paired with darker intermediates, paler with paler and so on.




More importantly, Douglas Bell did a more comprehensive study of the zone of contact and hybridization in the 1990s, published in the late 1990s, early 2000s, using both morphological and molecular variables.




He also found extensive hybridization, of course. He concluded (and I agree) that the zone of contact and hybridization is quite old, and the frequency of hybridization has probably increased and decreased through time, at least in part tracking abundance. He considered the current situation to be an upswing related to population increases for both species that have resulted from increases in anthropogenic food sources.




I take this to mean that while some of the "other" morphological signal found in each population is the result of recent introgression, some is a relict of ancient hybridization, persisting stably in the recipient population. I think that this ancient signal should not be used to label birds as hybrids, because it presumably was well-integrated into the genome of the recipient species.




For a more recent, well-studied example of this, consider Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers in eastern North America. Briefly, Blue-wings are expanding their breeding range north and upslope into that of Golden-wings, which are becoming rare. When the Blue-wings arrive, the two hybridize, but after relatively few generations, Golden-wings disappear and the birds all look pretty much like Blue-wings. However, molecular analyses do show evidence of mixed ancestry in these birds that look very much like "pure" Blue-wings. I would prefer to call these birds Blue-winged Warblers, acknowledging the possibility of vestiges of a mixed gene pool, because otherwise Blue-winged Warblers would be unidentifiable.




Back to the gulls: My practice is to call birds that are intermediate in multiple traits hybrids, but I consider birds that "deviate" from species norms in only one trait to be within the within-species variation. Thus, I would call a bird with normal GW eye, eyering, and bill colors but darker wingtips like the Irish bird a Glaucous-winged Gull. Further, since we apparently cannot attribute the wingtips of the Japanese birds to a known zone of overlap and hybridization, the likely explanation is that it is a relic of past history, stabilized in the Glaucous-winged Gull population. Further, I suspect an east Asian origin for a stray to Ireland is probably as likely as an origin on the Washington Coast.




Hope this helps




Wayne Hoffman




From: "Mike O'Keeffe"
To: "BIRDWG01"
Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 3:55:16 PM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Amar,

Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to this
interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary texts
appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the accepted primary
grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is correct, so would many of
the N. Am rarities committees? Does this not represent a potential blind
spot. While the hybrid mess may seem like an insurmountable challenge all
puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.

Regards

Mike





-----Original Message-----
From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
To: Mike O'Keeffe
Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull would
very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most records committees
in North America, if not all. This is where we're at with this species:
person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.

I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak gray
scale values found in the current gull guides.

Best,
Amar

Amar Ayyash
www.anythinglarus.com

> On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
> Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all have
> a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the Pacific NW
> hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan today however I
> think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the reference
> guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly cannot
> possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
>
>
>
> Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> Kodak scale 8-9 range.
>
> http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> u5k/s1
> 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro+H
> okkaid
> o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
>
> http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> aCs/s1
> 600/_MG_1352.JPG
>
>
>
> And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
>
>
>
> If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most closely
> resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook Inlet Gull)
> here is a good match...
>
> http://gull-research.org/smith...
>
> ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
GWG...
>
> http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> -01-09
> .JPG
>
>
>
> The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
2009-2012.
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> ns.htm
> l
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> ns.htm
> l
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare south
> of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull site N of
> Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to molt fairly
> early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for. My impression
> is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast. At least one
> doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into mid-late winter as in
Thayer's and Herring.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
>
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
>
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
>
>
> Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply too
> many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is difficult
enough to achieve at the best of times.
>
> Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely from
> photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool provides
> some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than one based
solely on our visual perception.
>
>
>
>
>
> I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale tool,
> and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field that the
> Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a comparable
> primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
>
>
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-sc
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing entirely
> on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late by standard
> references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of arrested
> moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the presence
> of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal coverts, plus
> a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird has had a rough
> ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while coming to bread
> at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by a young HG
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points of
> interest.
>
>
>
>
>
> Howell & Dunn
>
>
>
> "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey wingtips
> (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
>
>
>
> Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is roughly
> correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal published
> range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and Dunn. But
> it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what studies
> specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey scale
> 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the mantle
shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
>
> The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
>
>
>
>
>
> Olsen & Larsson
>
>
>
> Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in tone
> to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have little
> difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2 levels
> above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird similar to
> or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish bird and it is
> described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again without a clear
> explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at. In the body
> text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale level) 8-12
> probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for Glaucous-winged
> X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and how was
the hybrid cut-off line determined.
>
>
>
>
>
> In summary
>
>
>
> The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite the
> bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a hybrid
> or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my analysis
> if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both the main
> published reference guides. This suggests that the perception of what
> is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull experts in N.Am in terms
> of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in line with the current
> standard reference guides, for whom a primary pattern grey-scale of
>
> 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any genetic
> analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know why birders
> consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater than what is
> currently published.
>
>
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
>
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
>
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com
>
> te=smt
>
> p&url=/>
>
>
>
> Archives:
> http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com
> te=smt
> p&url=/>
>
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Fri Jan 8 2016 19:19 pm
From: chucao AT coastside.net
 
These problems are easier if you are willing to accept uncertainty, a more probabilistic manner of birding. But we are black and white, 100% or not, in terms of identification. You will never be able to adequately judge variation in Glaucous-winged without having a certain level of uncertainty, this is due to the various and very common hybrids, as well as geographic variation. So unless we begin to accept birds as "most probably" or "highly certain" to be a Glaucous-winged, we really will only accept the birds which are smack dab in the middle of the distribution or the extreme on the paler end, rather than birds in the darker end of the distribution. I am comfortable with a certain level of uncertainty in an identification of a gull, but the committees are unlikely to be comfortable with this.
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Tony Leukering
Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 4:18 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Mike wrote:



Does this not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.

Yes, it certainly is. However, it's a blind spot the way around which is simple, but very far from easy. It is also very similar to the situation with Iceland Gull in California, though without the massive taxonomic-uncertainty elephant in the room.

Tony




Tony Leukering
Largo, FL
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...

http://aba.org/photoquiz/





-----Original Message-----
From: Mike O'Keeffe
To: BIRDWG01
Sent: Fri, Jan 8, 2016 6:56 pm
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Amar,

Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to this interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary texts appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the accepted primary grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is correct, so would many of the N. Am rarities committees? Does this not represent a potential blind spot. While the hybrid mess may seem like an insurmountable challenge all puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.

Regards

Mike





-----Original Message-----
From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
To: Mike O'Keeffe
Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're at with this species:
person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.

I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak gray scale values found in the current gull guides.

Best,
Amar

Amar Ayyash
www.anythinglarus.com

> On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
> Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all have
> a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the Pacific NW
> hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan today however I
> think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the reference
> guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly cannot
> possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
>
>
>
> Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> Kodak scale 8-9 range.
>
> http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> u5k/s1
> 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro+H
> okkaid
> o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
>
> http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> aCs/s1
> 600/_MG_1352.JPG
>
>
>
> And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
>
>
>
> If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most closely
> resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook Inlet Gull)
> here is a good match...
>
> http://gull-research.org/smith...
>
> ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
GWG...
>
> http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> -01-09
> .JPG
>
>
>
> The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
2009-2012.
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> ns.htm
> l
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> ns.htm
> l
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare south
> of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull site N of
> Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to molt fairly
> early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for. My impression
> is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast. At least one
> doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into mid-late winter as in
Thayer's and Herring.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
>
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
>
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
>
>
> Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply too
> many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is
> difficult
enough to achieve at the best of times.
>
> Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely from
> photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool provides
> some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than one based
solely on our visual perception.
>
>
>
>
>
> I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale tool,
> and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field that the
> Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a comparable
> primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
>
>
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-sc
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing entirely
> on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late by standard
> references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of arrested
> moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the presence
> of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal coverts, plus
> a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird has had a rough
> ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while coming to bread
> at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by a young HG
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points of
> interest.
>
>
>
>
>
> Howell & Dunn
>
>
>
> "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey wingtips
> (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
>
>
>
> Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is roughly
> correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal published
> range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and Dunn. But
> it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what studies
> specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey scale
> 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the mantle
shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
>
> The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
>
>
>
>
>
> Olsen & Larsson
>
>
>
> Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in tone
> to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have little
> difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2 levels
> above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird similar to
> or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish bird and it is
> described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again without a clear
> explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at. In the body
> text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale level) 8-12
> probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for Glaucous-winged
> X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and how
> was
the hybrid cut-off line determined.
>
>
>
>
>
> In summary
>
>
>
> The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite the
> bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a hybrid
> or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my analysis
> if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both the main
> published reference guides. This suggests that the perception of what
> is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull experts in N.Am in terms
> of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in line with the current
> standard reference guides, for whom a primary pattern grey-scale of
>
> 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any genetic
> analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know why birders
> consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater than what is
> currently published.
>
>
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
>
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
>
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com
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>
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Fri Jan 8 2016 18:26 pm
From: greatgrayowl AT aol.com
 
Mike wrote:



Does this not represent a potential blind
spot. While the hybrid mess may seem like an insurmountable challenge all
puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.

Yes, it certainly is. However, it's a blind spot the way around which is simple, but very far from easy. It is also very similar to the situation with Iceland Gull in California, though without the massive taxonomic-uncertainty elephant in the room.

Tony




Tony Leukering
Largo, FL
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...

http://aba.org/photoquiz/





-----Original Message-----
From: Mike O'Keeffe
To: BIRDWG01
Sent: Fri, Jan 8, 2016 6:56 pm
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

Amar,

Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to this
interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary texts
appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the accepted primary
grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is correct, so would many of
the N. Am rarities committees? Does this not represent a potential blind
spot. While the hybrid mess may seem like an insurmountable challenge all
puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.

Regards

Mike





-----Original Message-----
From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
To: Mike O'Keeffe
Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull would
very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most records committees
in North America, if not all. This is where we're at with this species:
person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.

I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak gray
scale values found in the current gull guides.

Best,
Amar

Amar Ayyash
www.anythinglarus.com

> On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
> Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all have
> a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the Pacific NW
> hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan today however I
> think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the reference
> guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly cannot
> possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
>
>
>
> Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> Kodak scale 8-9 range.
>
> http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> u5k/s1
> 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro+H
> okkaid
> o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
>
> http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> aCs/s1
> 600/_MG_1352.JPG
>
>
>
> And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
>
>
>
> If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most closely
> resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook Inlet Gull)
> here is a good match...
>
> http://gull-research.org/smith...
>
> ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
GWG...
>
> http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> -01-09
> .JPG
>
>
>
> The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
2009-2012.
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> ns.htm
> l
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> ns.htm
> l
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare south
> of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull site N of
> Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to molt fairly
> early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for. My impression
> is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast. At least one
> doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into mid-late winter as in
Thayer's and Herring.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
>
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
>
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
>
>
> Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply too
> many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is difficult
enough to achieve at the best of times.
>
> Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely from
> photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool provides
> some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than one based
solely on our visual perception.
>
>
>
>
>
> I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale tool,
> and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field that the
> Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a comparable
> primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
>
>
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-sc
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing entirely
> on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late by standard
> references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of arrested
> moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the presence
> of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal coverts, plus
> a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird has had a rough
> ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while coming to bread
> at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by a young HG
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points of
> interest.
>
>
>
>
>
> Howell & Dunn
>
>
>
> "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey wingtips
> (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
>
>
>
> Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is roughly
> correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal published
> range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and Dunn. But
> it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what studies
> specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey scale
> 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the mantle
shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
>
> The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
>
>
>
>
>
> Olsen & Larsson
>
>
>
> Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in tone
> to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have little
> difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2 levels
> above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird similar to
> or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish bird and it is
> described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again without a clear
> explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at. In the body
> text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale level) 8-12
> probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for Glaucous-winged
> X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and how was
the hybrid cut-off line determined.
>
>
>
>
>
> In summary
>
>
>
> The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite the
> bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a hybrid
> or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my analysis
> if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both the main
> published reference guides. This suggests that the perception of what
> is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull experts in N.Am in terms
> of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in line with the current
> standard reference guides, for whom a primary pattern grey-scale of
>
> 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any genetic
> analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know why birders
> consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater than what is
> currently published.
>
>
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
>
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
>
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com
>
> te=smt
>
> p&url=/>
>
>
>
> Archives:
> http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com
> te=smt
> p&url=/>
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


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For more info visit www.bullguard.com

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Fri Jan 8 2016 18:03 pm
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Amar,

Thanks for the frank response. Obviously the grey scale element to this
interests me most - it was afterall the core subject of my blog post.
Surely, its intriguing and of interest to this forum that the primary texts
appear to exclude the darker Asian GWGs by narrowing the accepted primary
grey scale range to 6-8 and, if what you say is correct, so would many of
the N. Am rarities committees? Does this not represent a potential blind
spot. While the hybrid mess may seem like an insurmountable challenge all
puzzles I like to believe can be cracked.

Regards

Mike





-----Original Message-----
From: Amar Attach [mailto:amarayyash@gmail.com]
Sent: 08 January 2016 22:04
To: Mike O'Keeffe
Cc: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull

To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull would
very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most records committees
in North America, if not all. This is where we're at with this species:
person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.

I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak gray
scale values found in the current gull guides.

Best,
Amar

Amar Ayyash
www.anythinglarus.com

> On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
> Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all have
> a slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the Pacific NW
> hybrid zone. Having been looking at images from Japan today however I
> think its safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned.
> The 6-8 kodak scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the reference
> guides (both Howell & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly cannot
> possibly include the population of birds wintering in NE Asia.
>
>
>
> Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the
> Kodak scale 8-9 range.
>
> http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> u5k/s1
> 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro+H
> okkaid
> o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
>
> http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> aCs/s1
> 600/_MG_1352.JPG
>
>
>
> And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale
> 9-12 range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
>
>
>
> If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most closely
> resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook Inlet Gull)
> here is a good match...
>
> http://gull-research.org/smith...
>
> ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this
GWG...
>
> http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> -01-09
> .JPG
>
>
>
> The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth
> as this Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between
2009-2012.
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> ns.htm
> l
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> ns.htm
> l
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down
> to the Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare south
> of Hokkaido (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull site N of
> Tokyo). So I would expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to molt fairly
> early as there is no long migration to arrest molt for. My impression
> is that GWGU also molts early on the US Pacific Coast. At least one
> doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage well into mid-late winter as in
Thayer's and Herring.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
>
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU]
> On Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
>
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
>
>
> Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that
> experienced observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging
> subtle patterns and tones of commonly observed birds in the field.
> But I doubt that this field skill is readily transferable to the
> assessment of tones from photos. It seems to me there are simply too
> many variables at play. Perfectly accurate image exposure is difficult
enough to achieve at the best of times.
>
> Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and
> appearance of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting
> and exposure elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the
> camera plays an equally important role. So I often wonder are we
> fooling ourselves when we try and gauge tonal levels so precisely from
> photographs. A comparative analysis like a grey scale tool provides
> some basis for a more objective, comparative analysis than one based
solely on our visual perception.
>
>
>
>
>
> I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale tool,
> and backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field that the
> Irish GWG has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a comparable
> primary pattern grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
>
>
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-sc
> ales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at
> least a couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker
> than the still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing entirely
> on the left wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late by standard
> references. Is this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N.
> American range? Do Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American
> birds? Or could it's lateness simply be a reflection of the type of
> journey this bird may have undergone? Is this an example of arrested
> moult? The ragged tips of its tail and secondaries and the presence
> of what might be oil staining on its lesser and marginal coverts, plus
> a broken P8 feather (right wing) all suggest this bird has had a rough
> ride! And it doesn't seem to be very dominant while coming to bread
> at the pier either! See photos of a nasty attack by a young HG
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points of
> interest.
>
>
>
>
>
> Howell & Dunn
>
>
>
> "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey wingtips
> (6-8; averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
>
>
>
> Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is roughly
> correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal published
> range at least for N. American GWG according to Howell and Dunn. But
> it's not clear how definitive this point is and from what studies
> specifically it has been derived. Was the study based solely on N.
> American birds and from what part of the range? Could there be an
> element of selective or experimental bias trying to second-guess the
> hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is for sure - grey scale
> 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous with the mantle
shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
>
> The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
>
>
>
>
>
> Olsen & Larsson
>
>
>
> Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in tone
> to the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have little
> difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2 levels
> above mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird similar to
> or perhaps just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish bird and it is
> described as "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again without a clear
> explanation as to how that assertion was arrived at. In the body
> text..."birds with (primary pattern Kodak grey scale level) 8-12
> probably of hybrid origin". It also mentions that for Glaucous-winged
> X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is "Kodak grey scale 10-12".
> This again seems to be in line with the Irish bird based on my
> analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based upon and how was
the hybrid cut-off line determined.
>
>
>
>
>
> In summary
>
>
>
> The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented
> it seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite the
> bird's fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the
> currently accepted range" for GWG in N. America. With no other
> obvious hybrid features it seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even
> better candidate from an Asian population perspective. Still a hybrid
> or back-cross cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore my analysis
> if correct (primary grey scale 11-12) is at odd with both the main
> published reference guides. This suggests that the perception of what
> is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull experts in N.Am in terms
> of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in line with the current
> standard reference guides, for whom a primary pattern grey-scale of
>
> 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any genetic
> analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know why birders
> consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater than what is
> currently published.
>
>
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
>
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
>
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com
>
> te=smt
>
> p&url=/>
>
>
>
> Archives:
> http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com
> te=smt
> p&url=/>
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
For more info visit www.bullguard.com

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Fri Jan 8 2016 16:11 pm
From: amarayyash AT gmail.com
 
To put this identification conundrum in perspective, the Irish gull would very likely be rejected as a pure Glaucous-winged by most records committees in North America, if not all. This is where we're at with this species: person A suspects a hybrid, while person B sees an acceptable GL-winged.

I imagine this thread will continue in this circle regardless of Kodak gray scale values found in the current gull guides.

Best,
Amar

Amar Ayyash
www.anythinglarus.com

> On Jan 8, 2016, at 3:24 PM, Mike O'Keeffe wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
> Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all have a
> slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the Pacific NW hybrid
> zone. Having been looking at images from Japan today however I think its
> safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned. The 6-8 kodak
> scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the reference guides (both Howell
> & Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly cannot possibly include the population
> of birds wintering in NE Asia.
>
>
>
> Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the Kodak
> scale 8-9 range.
>
> http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
> 600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro+Hokkaid
> o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg
>
> http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
> 600/_MG_1352.JPG
>
>
>
> And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale 9-12
> range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> http://www.birdquest-tours.com...
>
>
>
> If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most closely
> resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook Inlet Gull) here
> is a good match...
>
> http://gull-research.org/smith...
>
> ...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this GWG...
>
> http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
> .JPG
>
>
>
> The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth as this
> Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between 2009-2012.
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
> l
>
> http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
> l
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Ireland
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool...
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
> Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
> To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
> Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down to the
> Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare south of Hokkaido
> (one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull site N of Tokyo). So I would
> expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to molt fairly early as there is no long
> migration to arrest molt for. My impression is that GWGU also molts early on
> the US Pacific Coast. At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage
> well into mid-late winter as in Thayer's and Herring.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
>
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
> mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe
>
> Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM
>
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
>
>
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
>
>
> Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that experienced
> observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging subtle patterns and
> tones of commonly observed birds in the field. But I doubt that this field
> skill is readily transferable to the assessment of tones from photos. It
> seems to me there are simply too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate
> image exposure is difficult enough to achieve at the best of times.
>
> Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
> perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and appearance
> of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting and exposure
> elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the camera plays an
> equally important role. So I often wonder are we fooling ourselves when we
> try and gauge tonal levels so precisely from photographs. A comparative
> analysis like a grey scale tool provides some basis for a more objective,
> comparative analysis than one based solely on our visual perception.
>
>
>
>
>
> I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale tool, and
> backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field that the Irish GWG
> has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a comparable primary pattern
> grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.
>
>
>
> http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-scales-a
> nd-gulls.html
>
>
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at least a
> couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker than the
> still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing entirely on the left
> wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late by standard references. Is
> this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N. American range? Do
> Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American birds? Or could it's
> lateness simply be a reflection of the type of journey this bird may have
> undergone? Is this an example of arrested moult? The ragged tips of its
> tail and secondaries and the presence of what might be oil staining on its
> lesser and marginal coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all
> suggest this bird has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very
> dominant while coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty
> attack by a young HG
>
>
> https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...
>
>
>
>
>
> In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points of
> interest.
>
>
>
>
>
> Howell & Dunn
>
>
>
> "Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey wingtips (6-8;
> averaging paler on Northern populations)...".
>
>
>
> Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is roughly
> correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal published range at
> least for N. American GWG according to Howell and Dunn. But it's not clear
> how definitive this point is and from what studies specifically it has been
> derived. Was the study based solely on N. American birds and from what part
> of the range? Could there be an element of selective or experimental bias
> trying to second-guess the hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is
> for sure - grey scale 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous
> with the mantle shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.
>
> The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.
>
>
>
>
>
> Olsen & Larsson
>
>
>
> Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in tone to
> the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have little
> difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2 levels above
> mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird similar to or perhaps
> just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish bird and it is described as
> "too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again without a clear explanation as to
> how that assertion was arrived at. In the body text..."birds with (primary
> pattern Kodak grey scale level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also
> mentions that for Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is
> "Kodak grey scale 10-12". This again seems to be in line with the Irish
> bird based on my analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based
> upon and how was the hybrid cut-off line determined.
>
>
>
>
>
> In summary
>
>
>
> The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented it
> seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite the bird's
> fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the currently accepted
> range" for GWG in N. America. With no other obvious hybrid features it
> seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even better candidate from an Asian
> population perspective. Still a hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally
> eliminated. Furthermore my analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12)
> is at odd with both the main published reference guides. This suggests that
> the perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull experts
> in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in line with the
> current standard reference guides, for whom a primary pattern grey-scale of
>
> 6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
> specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any genetic
> analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know why birders
> consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater than what is
> currently published.
>
>
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
>
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
>
>
>
> Ireland
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
>
> For more info visit www.bullguard.com
>
>
> p&url=/>
>
>
>
> Archives:
> http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
>
>
> This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
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Subject: Irish Glaucous-winged Gull
Date: Fri Jan 8 2016 15:34 pm
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Hi,



Interestingly the comments that I have received today seem to all have a
slant towards a hybrid origin and all referring to the Pacific NW hybrid
zone. Having been looking at images from Japan today however I think its
safe to say the jury remains out as far as I am concerned. The 6-8 kodak
scale primary pattern cutoff for GWG from the reference guides (both Howell
& Dunn and Olsen & Larsson) clearly cannot possibly include the population
of birds wintering in NE Asia.



Here are a couple of examples from Asia which I suspect are in the Kodak
scale 8-9 range.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3QH...
600/japan+birding+Glaucous-winged+Gull+adult+Hanasaki+harbour+Nemuro+Hokkaid
o+january+2014+Amundsen+Biotope.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjsY...
600/_MG_1352.JPG



And here are a couple that could be even darker, in the Kodak scale 9-12
range perhaps, where I think the Irish bird sits.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

http://www.birdquest-tours.com...



If based on the bird's smallish bill this bird it is said most closely
resembles an American Pacific Northwest GWG X HG (or Cook Inlet Gull) here
is a good match...

http://gull-research.org/smith...

...but for comparison on the Japanese side of the water we have this GWG...

http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/a...
.JPG



The Irish bird, whatever it is may have been cut from the same cloth as this
Danish bird which returned for consecutive winters between 2009-2012.

http://gulldk.blogspot.ie/2013...
l

http://gulldk.blogspot.dk/2012...
l



Regards



Mike O'Keeffe

Ireland

http://birdingimagequalitytool...
nd-gulls.html





-----Original Message-----
From: Lethaby, Nick [mailto:nlethaby@ti.com]
Sent: 07 January 2016 22:14
To: Mike O'Keeffe; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull



The birds with darker wing-tips are probably mostly wintering in the
Aleutians/Bering Sea close to the breeding grounds or migrating down to the
Kuriles and Hokkaido, which isn't super far. GWGU is rare south of Hokkaido
(one sees just a few at Chosi, the famous gull site N of Tokyo). So I would
expect GWGU with darker wing-tips to molt fairly early as there is no long
migration to arrest molt for. My impression is that GWGU also molts early on
the US Pacific Coast. At least one doesn't commonly see juvenile plumage
well into mid-late winter as in Thayer's and Herring.



-----Original Message-----

From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [
mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On
Behalf Of Mike O'Keeffe

Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:57 PM

To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU

Subject: [BIRDWG01] Irish Glaucous-winged Gull



Hi,





Thanks everyone for your responses. There is no doubt that experienced
observers develop an eye and a memory muscle for judging subtle patterns and
tones of commonly observed birds in the field. But I doubt that this field
skill is readily transferable to the assessment of tones from photos. It
seems to me there are simply too many variables at play. Perfectly accurate
image exposure is difficult enough to achieve at the best of times.

Exposure, lighting, dynamic range, lens focal length and relative
perspective among other parameters can all affect the capture and appearance
of subtle tones. And those are just the ambient lighting and exposure
elements. A bird's posture and angle relative to the camera plays an
equally important role. So I often wonder are we fooling ourselves when we
try and gauge tonal levels so precisely from photographs. A comparative
analysis like a grey scale tool provides some basis for a more objective,
comparative analysis than one based solely on our visual perception.





I estimate, based on a comparative analysis using the grey scale tool, and
backed up by what I saw of the Irish bird in the field that the Irish GWG
has a mantle grey scale value close to 6 and a comparable primary pattern
grey scale value of at least 10 and probably 11 or 12.



http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/01/field-marks-grey-scales-a
nd-gulls.html




https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...





Obviously the outer primaries are not entirely new and should be at least a
couple of month's old. Surprisingly P7-P9 seem a tad darker than the
still-growing P10 on the right wing. P10 is missing entirely on the left
wing. P10 moult seems a couple of months late by standard references. Is
this lateness ever encountered within it's normal N. American range? Do
Asian winterers moult P10 later than N. American birds? Or could it's
lateness simply be a reflection of the type of journey this bird may have
undergone? Is this an example of arrested moult? The ragged tips of its
tail and secondaries and the presence of what might be oil staining on its
lesser and marginal coverts, plus a broken P8 feather (right wing) all
suggest this bird has had a rough ride! And it doesn't seem to be very
dominant while coming to bread at the pier either! See photos of a nasty
attack by a young HG


https://twitter.com/okeeffeml/...





In the two main gull reference guides I found the following points of
interest.





Howell & Dunn



"Adult has pale grey upperparts (Kodak 5-6) with medium grey wingtips (6-8;
averaging paler on Northern populations)...".



Taken at face value, and assuming my analysis of grey scale is roughly
correct, this puts the Irish bird well outside the normal published range at
least for N. American GWG according to Howell and Dunn. But it's not clear
how definitive this point is and from what studies specifically it has been
derived. Was the study based solely on N. American birds and from what part
of the range? Could there be an element of selective or experimental bias
trying to second-guess the hybrid element in these data sets? One thing is
for sure - grey scale 6-8 represents a very small margin beyond concolorous
with the mantle shade - almost imperceptible in the field I should think.

The Irish bird is certainly much darker than that.





Olsen & Larsson



Plates on page 162 depict birds with primary tips very similar in tone to
the mantle and these are considered good GWGs. I would have little
difficulty accepting these fall in the grey scale range 1-2 levels above
mantle shade. Plate 179 on page 163 depicts a bird similar to or perhaps
just marginally darker-tipped than the Irish bird and it is described as
"too dark for Glaucous-winged" but again without a clear explanation as to
how that assertion was arrived at. In the body text..."birds with (primary
pattern Kodak grey scale level) 8-12 probably of hybrid origin". It also
mentions that for Glaucous-winged X Western hybrids the "darker wing-tip" is
"Kodak grey scale 10-12". This again seems to be in line with the Irish
bird based on my analysis. But again what studies are these remarks based
upon and how was the hybrid cut-off line determined.





In summary



The overall consensus among those from N. America who have commented it
seems (though with a few people being cautious) is that despite the bird's
fairly dark primaries the bird is considered within "the currently accepted
range" for GWG in N. America. With no other obvious hybrid features it
seems to be a good GWG, perhaps an even better candidate from an Asian
population perspective. Still a hybrid or back-cross cannot be totally
eliminated. Furthermore my analysis if correct (primary grey scale 11-12)
is at odd with both the main published reference guides. This suggests that
the perception of what is just about acceptable as a GWG among gull experts
in N.Am in terms of the Kodak scale at the moment is not in line with the
current standard reference guides, for whom a primary pattern grey-scale of

6-8 is considered the limit. It would be really useful to know what
specific studies the 6-8 limit is based upon and was there any genetic
analysis underpinning it. It would also be useful to know why birders
consider the acceptable range of darkness to be greater than what is
currently published.





Regards





Mike O'Keeffe



Ireland









This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.

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Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...


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Subject: Newport, Oregon Oriole
Date: Fri Jan 8 2016 1:05 am
From: llsdirons AT msn.com
 
Peter,

Thanks for the clarification. I presumed the typo. Easy to do when discussing a bunch of species and using banding code abbreviations. I can't remember if I have the photo saved somewhere, but a couple of weeks ago Wayne Hoffman sent me an open wing shot of this bird which clearly showed a shorter outermost secondary that seemed to be still growing in. The irregular lengths of the tail feathers in image #17 in the gallery suggests that some molt might be going on there as well. Given that this bird has been present for several weeks now, it seems likely that it is/has molted locally. The bird seems to be feeding almost exclusively on seeds (at the feeder) right now. During the time that I watched it this past weekend I did not see it getting any other sort of food.

Hopefully this bird will stick long enough that we can see some additional transformation in its appearance and perhaps get a better handle on whether it is a pure Bullock's or Bullock's X ???.

Dave Irons

> Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2016 21:49:34 -0800
> From: ppyle@BIRDPOP.ORG
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Newport, Oregon Oriole
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> Yes, typo, I meant BUOR. BAOR molts on the breeding grounds, a common
> difference between western and eastern congeners.
>
> But since it is in Oregon for the winter it's hard to know where and
> when this individual molted. It does seem to have undergone a rather
> complete preformative molt by this date. Birds (including BUORs) that
> winter in Mexico or elsewhere in the tropics tend to have more
> protracted over-winter molts, and most still show mixed juvenile and
> formative wing coverts in January (one reason I though it an adult at
> first). It is possible that a more rapid and complete molt occurred
> responding to environmental cues (e.g., onset of winter) that birds
> to the south don't face. We have lots of examples of individuals
> within species (e.g., shorebirds) molting very differently depending
> on their wintering latitude, and there is some incipient evidence
> that an individual might molt differently in different years
> depending on its location during the molting period. Thus,
> environmental cues could be tantamount.
>
> I could suppose that the rapid and earlier molt in this oriole could
> have something to do with the more extensive orange underparts than
> most SY female BUORs would show now. Perhaps many females still
> retain juvenile lower underpart feathers in January, or that
> later-replaced feathers are paler for some reason. On the other hand,
> I continue to agree that the extent of orange to the underparts seems
> surprising for an SY female BUOR in any case, and maybe the earlier
> and more complete molt could also indicate some introgression with BAOR.
>
> Peter
>
> At 09:52 PM 1/6/2016, David Irons wrote:
> >Greetings All,
> >
> >I have added Wayne Hoffman's images of the Newport, Oregon oriole to
> >the gallery that I shared yesterday. His images are #13-17. They
> >show the bill pattern better than my photos and I believe more
> >accurately capture the overall color of the bird. There is one very
> >informative rump shot, which allows to age this bird as SY (HY when
> >first found in December). The back/rump pattern certainly seems like
> >that of a Bullock's to my eye. The extensive yellow below still puzzles me.
> >
> >I was trying grasp exactly what Alvaro is describing in the bill
> >pattern. It isn't easy to see where the mandible ends and the
> >maxilla begins along the cutting edge of the bill, but it certainly
> >seems to have an all-dark or nearly all-dark maxilla.
> >
> >In an earlier post Peter Pyle stated that,
> >"...both HOOR and BAOR undergo most/all of the preformative molt in
> >the Mexican monsoon
> >area and return as first-spring birds in more-worn plumage than we
> >are used to."
> >
> >I am wondering if "BAOR" was supposed to be BUOR, as it my
> >understanding that HY Baltimores undergo preformative molt
> >before leaving the breeding grounds and Bullock's migrate south
> >before molting.
> >
> >Dave Irons
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2016 12:49:55 -0800
> > > From: chucao@COASTSIDE.NET
> > > Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Newport, Oregon Oriole
> > > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > >
> > > David,
> > > Having studied the hybrid situation in W Kansas, as an assistant to Jim
> > > Rising some moons ago, it is pertinent to note that the hybrid zone between
> > > Bullock's and Baltimore is narrow but significant. In the hybrid zone, no
> > > bird we saw was pure. Birds across the hybrid zone are clinal on average,
> > > more Bullock's like in the west part of the zone, Baltimore like in the
> > > east. However, all sorts of variations occur. What these birds look like as
> > > first year, or winter females is really unknown at this point. Molt of the
> > > hybrids is even wonky, with the suggestion that some hybrids may have a
> > > mixed molt between the differing strategies used by Bullock's and
> > Baltimore.
> > > The features that are not Bullock's like in this bird, can be accounted for
> > > by suggesting it may have mixed genes. Again, remember we are not talking
> > > about intermediate, F1 type hybrids, but a gene soup...sort of like Puget
> > > Sound Gull.
> > > Regards
> > > Alvaro
> > >
> > > Alvaro Jaramillo
> > > alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
> > > www.alvarosadventures.com
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
> > > [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of David Irons
> > > Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 9:53 AM
> > > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > > Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Newport, Oregon Oriole
> > >
> > > Greetings All,
> > >
> > > I would like to address the specifics of some of the responses that have
> > > been offered about this oriole.
> > >
> > > First, it has been suggested that we can infer differences in "bulk"
> > > (translated in weight measurements) by comparing the apparent size of the
> > > oriole, with the apparent size of the House Sparrow. You can't.
> > If you put a
> > > Great Gray Owl side-by-side with a Great Horned Owl you might
> > infer that the
> > > Great Gray would outweigh the Great Horned on the basis of their sizes
> > > (length). Great Grays average about five inches longer than Great Horneds,
> > > but weigh about 3/4 of a pound less. When the photos of this oriole were
> > > taken, ambient air temps were hovering just under 40F with cold easterly
> > > winds blowing at 15-20mph. Both the House Sparrow and the oriole seem a bit
> > > fluffed up when sitting on the ground.
> > >
> > > Multiple respondents have indicated that their "gut reaction" or how the
> > > bird "strikes" them in appearance is Bullock's and not Orchard, but don't
> > > necessarily explain why. We went to Newport last weekend expecting to see a
> > > Bullock's Oriole. Our immediate reaction upon seeing this bird in life was
> > > that it struck us as an Orchard and not a Bullock's for reasons
> > explained in
> > > my original post. It has been suggested that the bird lacks the "cute"
> > > appearance of an Orchard and looks "fierce" in some photos. These
> > are highly
> > > subjective terms that are unlikely to be interpreted similarly by any two
> > > people looking at these images. I might argue that the bird looks cute in
> > > the initial four images when it is sitting in the myrtle tree, but looks a
> > > bit more fierce in the close-ups when it is on the feeder, which begs the
> > > question, which of these impressions is more meaningful?
> > (probably neither).
> > >
> > >
> > > I assume that Tim Janzen took measurements from the photos in
> > coming up with
> > > his 1.35:1 ratio of size difference between the oriole and the House
> > > Sparrow, which as he indicates would put the oriole more in the range of a
> > > Bullock's in size. That said, I am always a bit wary of trying to take
> > > comparative measurements from photos, as there are all sorts of variables
> > > that can't be accounted for. In terms of size comparisons. We saw both
> > > female and immature male Red-winged Blackbirds using this same
> > feeder. Using
> > > average measurements taken from various sources, an Orchard
> > Oriole should be
> > > about the same size or a bit smaller than a female Red-winged and clearly
> > > smaller than a male Red-winged. The size of this bird was consistent with
> > > this expected size difference. Most measurements for Bullock's
> > Oriole put it
> > > close to if not equal to the size (length) of a male Red-winged Blackbird.
> > > As we looked at the oriole side-by-side with House Sparrows, House Finches,
> > > and fairly close to White-crowned Sparrows it seemed to be closer
> > in size to
> > > those species than it did to the male Red-winged Blackbirds that
> > > occasionally visited the feeders.
> > >
> > > Terry Bronson's comments reference the variability of the yellow noted in
> > > Birds of North America Online species account for Bullock's Oriole. I think
> > > he is misinterpreting the statement in the account. Rising et al. point out
> > > that the yellow is variable, not the extent of the yellow. I think this
> > > statement refers to the yellow where it normally occurs on a immature or
> > > female Bullock's and is not meant to imply that the extent of the yellow on
> > > the underparts is highly variable in immature and female birds. In several
> > > places in this account the belly and flanks of female and
> > immature Bullock's
> > > are described as being "grayish white and sometimes slightly yellow."
> > > Nowhere in this account does it indicate that the underparts of a immature
> > > or female Bullock's can be predominantly yellow, which is clearly the case
> > > with the Newport oriole.
> > >
> > > I am the first to admit that when looking at the photos of this bird there
> > > are some aspects of its appearance that do not readily fit Orchard Oriole.
> > > Oregon is within the primary breeding range of Bullock's Orioles,
> > so this is
> > > a bird that I see many many times each year. Hooded Oriole is a near-annual
> > > vagrant to Oregon. I've seen this species in Oregon a number of times and
> > > I've also seen many Hoodeds in my travels to places where they occur
> > > regularly. I have seen one Orchard Oriole in Oregon, which ironically was
> > > Oregon's first, which I and some fellow birders found back in
> > September 1980
> > > about 200 meters from where this bird is being seen. I lived for a time in
> > > the Midwest, where Orchards are fairly common breeders, so I feel like I
> > > have a good basic feel for their relative size and structure.
> > When I look at
> > > the photos of the bird in the wax myrtle (the first four images in the
> > > gallery), the bird strikes me as a pretty straightforward Orchard in terms
> > > of overall color, size, head shape and bill length and shape. This view
> > > formed my earliest impression of the bird. When I look at the images of the
> > > bird on the feeder and back in the courtyard, its overall appearance seems
> > > more ambiguous. The most consistent and unambiguous thing about
> > this bird is
> > > how extensively yellow or yellow-orange (if you trust the color accuracy of
> > > the images) the bird on its underparts. I have not found any reference or
> > > received any authoritative feedback suggesting that a female or immature
> > > Bullock's of either sex can show this much yellow below. In the absence of
> > > such evidence, I don't think that one can casually suggest that this is
> > > Bullock's Oriole without some explanation for why it is so yellow below
> > >
> > > Lastly, there have been some posts about this bird that mention "immature
> > > male" when discussing the possibility of Orchard. One post to the Oregon
> > > Birders Online listserv suggested that this bird was being called a young
> > > male Orchard. This isn't the case. At no point in my discussions of this
> > > bird with other birders present did any of us presume it to be a
> > young male.
> > >
> > >
> > > I value the responses that I've received so far and the fact that a number
> > > of folks are looking at this bird and seeing a Bullock's. As I've been
> > > writing this, some other commentary has come in and Wayne Hoffman, who has
> > > also seen this bird repeatedly, privately sent me some photos that I think
> > > better capture the color of the bird as I recall it from seeing it in the
> > > field. He has a rump angle shot that shows the tail feathers
> > pretty well and
> > > a rump pattern that I think best fits Bullock's. The tail
> > feathers are worn,
> > > brown-looking and at least some are quite pointed at the tip, which would
> > > seem to indicate that they are retained juvenile rectrices, which does not
> > > mesh with Peter Pyle's thinking that this is an adult female. Even if it
> > > were, the almost entirely yellow underparts are problematic.
> > >
> > > Dave Irons
> > >
> > > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...
> > >
> > > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> >Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


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