Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version


Document Type



Rosché, "Another Description of Ross' Gull," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1993) 61(2).


Copyright 1993, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


One immature was observed at Sutherland Reservoir, Lincoln County, on 17 December (myself) and 19 December (myself and Dorothy J. Rosche), 1992. I saw this bird a few hours after Silcock and Dinsmore discovered it on 17 Dec. [See article on p. 88.] It flew by the end of the pier at close distances (as close as 20 feet) for hours on both days of observation. It sometimes landed momentarily on small pieces of ice as it picked up morsels floating in the water. It was a small gull and much more dainty than the nearby Bonaparte's Gulls. It had a very small, rounded head and a very short, stubby, blackish bill. I believe it was a first-year bird molting into second-year plumage. The obviously wedge-shaped tail possessed well-worn tips. The only thing left of the dark tail band was a dark spot or two. The dark wing band of the immature was reduced to a short, dark bar on the inner wing, more noticeable on one side of the bird than the other (and very visible when the bird perched). The dark black collar marking was just beginning to appear, a small, darkish line being the only thing visible on each side of the head at this time. The pointed wings were rather uniformly gray on both sides; the trailing edge of the wing was whitish. The bird remained until 3 January, 1993, when it was last seen at the inlet to the reservoir. I personally visited with some 18 people who travelled to observe the bird from New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Colorado, and Florida.