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Baltic Gull (fuscus)


First Cycle

DESCRIPTION (not correct yet; needs revisions):

BALTIC GULL (20-24"; 49-50") fuscus

BILL COLOR: black; no pale base until summer variable; usually pale w/ black subterm area dark yellow w/ red or orange-red gon spot; pale tip
LEG COLOR: dull flesh flesh or yellowish-flesh pale to dark yellow
IRIS/ORB RING: dark dark or pale pale yellow; orb ring red
HEAD: rather pale, w/ dark mottling or streaking around eye, auriculars, and rear crown; young birds have solid blackish patch from front of eye to auriculars white w/ thin streaks over crown and aurs; darker streaks on nape and neck sides extensively streaked w/ fine lines over crown and face; thicker streaks on nape and neck sides to upper breast
UNDERPARTS: blackish mottling from lower nape and neck sides to breast sides and flanks; belly paler; undt covs spotted white w/ extensive dark streaking or mottling on breast sides and flanks white
blackish blackish A-spots evenly spaced except 9-10 closer; all are smaller than eye
(in flight):
blackish above and below blackish above and below medium mirror on P10, set back from tip; black band on P5; often dark mark on P4; gray area quite dark from below
(in flight):
blackish above and below w/ very narrow pale fringe dark above and below w/ pale fringe adult gray w/ broad white trailing edge about 1/2 bill length; strong contrast with gray area below
TERTIALS: very dark brown w/ crisp white edge; may have diffuse pale area near tip or small notches on sides dark gray w/ large pale marbled tips adult gray w/ large white crescent about 2/3 bill length
GREATER COVERTS: solid dark brown-black w/ obvious pale fringe and subterminal spot; more barred and spotted on inner feathers; appears as a dark bar in flight mottled adult gray and brown adult gray
LESSER & MED COVERTS: rather dark brown w/ pale edges, creating a scaled look (very bold in young birds); muddy later in winter adult gray w/ dark subterm anchors adult gray
SCAPULARS: similar to med,les covs adult gray w/ dark centers adult gray w/ little or no white crescent
BACK: similar to med,les covs adult gray w/ dark centers adult gray is nearly black, but may fade to have a brownish hue
RUMP: appears quite pale; white with some dark mottling white white
TAIL: large black band w/ pale fringe; all but inner retri- ces w/ extensive irreg pale barring at bases; outer- most webs white w/ dark bands near tip large black subterm band w/ extensive marbled base; outermost webs white white

The was table created by Steve Hampton and is intended to futher our knowledge of gull identification. Please email me at if you have any suggestions for updating or improving this table. Thanks.