S. Mlodinow posted this link to BIRDWG01:

Lots of photos of Japanese Slaty-backeds for comparison.  Some of the 3rd
year birds show bills similar to that of the Key West bird (subterminal dark
band, promininent gonys).

Also, Grant (Gulls: a guide to identification; 1986/1997:174) says of adult
Slaty-backeds: "Pattern of white, black and grey on wing-tip diagnostic:
from above, black on outer primaries mainly on outer webs except near tips,
decreasing in extent inwards to small subterminal bar on 5th or 6th;
subterminal black on 3rd to 5th or 6th primaries divided from blackish-grey
remainder of each feather by broad white band mainly on inner web, forming
distinctive line of white spots (or white 'divide') across wing-tip; large
white mirror (or long, all-white tip like Great Black-backed Gull) on 1st
primary and usually also smaller mirror on 2nd; prominent white tips to
outer primaries, obvious on closed wing.  From below, primaries grey with
broad white spots across 3rd to 5th or 6th primaries before subterminal
black; primaries and secondaries otherwise grey below, contrasting with
white underwing coverts and broad white trailing edge."

(Third-year birds are similar, but the mirrors and subterminal spots are
often less prominent.  The upperwing is "patchy, not uniformly blackish.
Third-year birds may also have a narrowing trailing edge of the wing.)


How does "third-year bird, molting into adult winter plumage" sound for the
Key West bird?

Has anyone seen the bird today (Monday, the 22nd)?

David Wright
Miami Shores

on 9/23/02 8:28 AM, Barbara Passmore at [log in to unmask] wrote:

> Gerard Phillips has posted some photos of the possible Slaty-backed Gull
> seen by him and Mark Hedden in Key West on September 21, 2002.  See:

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