Clinton Co: Laughing or Franklin’s Gull?

Drew WeberBird Sightings, Identification2 Comments

On May 30th, Nate Fronk found a gull that he initially ID’ed as a Laughing Gull but as he studied it further and looked at the photos he took, we are now leaning towards Franklin’s Gull. Below are some notes he sent me about the sighting. Unfortunately the gull did not stick around for further observation. Any comments on this birds ID are appreciated.

I found it at 10:45 a.m. on May 30 at South Avis Flats in Clinton County. It was associating with about 50 Ring-billed Gulls. I noticed the large eye ring and extensive white on the primaries, which led me to think Franklin’s. The bill was also noticeably smaller than the Ring-billed Gulls. The only characteristic that pointed towards Laughing was the dusky underwings I saw when the bird partially raised its wings.

photo showing partial hood, bold white around eye

profile showing white on primaries