This first-cycle gull was photographed on January 07, 2007 in the Coastal Plain near Houston and Galveston, Texas:
It was the size of a very small AMHE, and - other than the underparts and rear-end - looks within range of many AMHEs I see in Texas; NOTE - bare parts are variously stained by yellowish mud:
The scaps pattern is fairly extreme but I see a few (presumed pure) AMHEs with scaps like this each season:
The underwing and undertail coverts, plus body markings are more like those of Old World forms such as LBBG, YLGU:
the primaries are too dark for AMHE, and look more like LBBG/YLGU, plus the greater secondary coverts are darker than AMHE but not quite as dark on a typical LBBG:
The tail pattern (not shown well here but seen well) was similar to that of an average LBBG (i.e. far less dark than some, but with less white than others):
- so is the a LBBGxAMHE? The standing bird does not look like the few suggested examples of this form, and the scap pattern seems counter-intuitive for this combination. If not this hybrid type, what else fits; an extremely pale LBBG? heuglini??