Glaucous Gull, Larus hyperboreus

Glaucous Gull, flying, 5/30/11,
              Council Road, Nome, AK
Moving north along the Pacific Coast, the large gulls most commonly seen are Western in California, Glaucous-winged in the Pacific Northwest, and Glaucous in coastal Alaska, where the photographs above and below were taken.

Glaucous Gull, third cycle, flying,
              6/4/11, Nome, AK
The bicolored gonydeal spot, black and red, suggest that the Glaucous Gull shown above is third cycle; the rest of the appearance is consistent with it being an adult.

Glaucous Gull, first cycle, 3/15/10,
              Edwards NWR, Alviso
Glaucous Gulls are uncommon to rare in the SF Bay Area, but several are seen every winter, most of them first-cycle birds, recognizable by the nearly all-white plumage and the distinctive bicolored bill. Glaucous-winged Gulls, a much more common species here, can also appear nearly all-white, especially toward summer when their plumage is worn, but their wing-tips are normally gray rather than white, and their bills are bulbous, like those of Western Gulls, rather than long and straight, as shown above. The first-cycle Glaucous pictured above, sleepy-eyed, and below, yawning, was on the first island of Salt Pond A16 in Edwards NWR in a group including Western, Glaucous-winged, Herring, California, and Ring-billed Gulls. 

Glaucous Gull, first cycle, 3/15/09,
              Edwards NWR, Alviso