Jean Iron of Toronto has asked me to post to the lists the following message:
        Florida and Toronto Heermann's Gulls
        Sun, 05 Nov 2000 19:57:44 -0500
        Jean Iron <[log in to unmask]>
        [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], Margie Wilkinson
<[log in to unmask]

Dear Ontbirders, Chatters and Florida Birders,

The discovery of a second basic (second winter) Heermann's Gull at Ft.
DeSoto Park, Pinellas County, Florida on 24 October 2000 and still present
on 5 November has prompted birders to ask whether the Florida and Toronto
Heermann's Gulls are the same bird.

David Cattrall has posted 6 of our Toronto Heermann's Gull photos on the
OFO web site on Sunday 5 November so that you can compare both birds.

Photographs of the Florida Heermann's can be viewed on Lyn Atherton's web
page at:

The Toronto Heermann's was last seen on 16 September 2000 about 8:15 a.m.
flying over the Leslie Street Spit going east along Lake Ontario. It had
virtually completed its second prebasic molt and was in second basic
(second winter) plumage.

We have studied Lyn's photographs and believe that the Toronto and Florida
Heermann's Gulls are different birds, but the same age. The Florida
Heermann's appears to have two anterior whitish greater secondary coverts
on the left wing probably due to albinism. These whitish coverts were
lacking on Toronto's Heermann's Gull. Albinism is a rare but regular
occurrence in Heermann's Gulls. There are also other subtle plumage
differences that we noted.

We hope that the Toronto Heermann's reaches warmer waters for the winter too.

Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway

Jean Iron
President, Ontario Field Ornithologists
9 Lichen Place
Toronto, Ontario M3A 1X3
Phone: 416-445-9297
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
Web Page: