Juvenile/First Cycle Thayer's Gull at Ashbridges Bay, Toronto

This juvenile/first cycle Thayer's Gull was on the ice at the outer bay & marina at Ashbridges Bay in Toronto on 6 February 2017. Identified by its overall tawny brown coloration, the solid front and underparts, perfect pattern of the mostly solid scapulars, pattern of the wing coverts and tertials, and the primaries tipped with white. The dark bill is starting to pale at the base. Bill is small and in this case may indicate a female. Several of us watched it for a long time: Allison Zhang, Lynn Pady and Gray Carlin. See eBird for more photos.


It's exciting to see this juvenile Thayer's, which hatched in the Canadian Arctic in summer of 2016 and has come south to spend the winter with us in southern Ontario.


It is still in juvenile plumage. It's normal for Arctic gulls to hold their juvenile plumage well into their first winter. Note the solid scapulars. I was there for two hours and it slept most of the time.


More information

Allison Zhang's eBird checklist on 6 Feb 2017 includes an open wing photo showing the solid secondary bar on the Ashbridges Bay juvenile Thayer's: http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/view/checklist/S34212807


At Niagara Falls below the Falls in early December 2016 was a juvenile Thayer's Gull with a similar frosty appearance to the Ashbridges Bay bird. We saw it several times including on the OFO Trip on 4 December 2016. Here's a link to Willie D'Anna's eBird Checklist photos for 3 December: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32864954