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Mew Gull

MARC number#LocationCountyArrival dateDeparture dateObserversReport
1999-041Winthrop Beach BreakersSuffolk01/16/9901/16/99D. Larson + S. Carlson4
2003-021Cashman Park, NewburyportEssex03/08/0303/10/03J. Berry, P. Baicich et al8
2007-021Jodrey State Fish Pier, GloucesterEssex01/02/0701/03/0713
1908-041Chatham, Barnstable CountyBarnstable02/08/0802/08/08collected by N. A. Eldridge (ph. Jeremiah Trimble)16
2009-551Harbor and Brace Cove, East GloucesterEssex11/26/0912/07/09R Heil* (ph), P Brown (ph)16
2009-561King’s Beach, Lynn/SwampscottEssex11/26/0903/05/11D. Bosler, M. Goetschkes (ph)16
2010-821Niles Pond, East GloucesterEssex01/20/1002/26/10N Bonomo* (ph), J Smith* (ph), R Heil (ph)16
2011-0321King’s Beach, Lynn/SwampscottEssex02/24/1103/05/11J. Quigley*, E. Nielsen (ph), M. Iliff (ph), M. Garvey (ph), S. Sullivan (ph)16
2017-0031Lynn Beach, NahantEssex02/25/1702/28/17John Quigley* (ph), Joe Bourget (ph), Dan Prima21
2017-0051Race PointBarnstable03/26/1703/26/17Blair Nikula* (ph)21
2017-0061Race PointBarnstable04/15/1704/15/17Will Sweet* (ph)21
2017-0071Race PointBarnstable04/15/1704/15/17Alan Kneidel*, Nathan Marchessault* (ph)21

Mew Gull, kamchatschens subspecies. Photo by R. Stymeist, Lynn. 4 Mar 2015.

This close relative of the Ring-billed Gull has been recorded perhaps a couple dozen times in Massachusetts. Veit and Petersen in Birds of Massachusetts about 25 records, with most referring to the European subspecies (canus, Common Gull), but a few records of the ‘short-billed’ or American form from the western states (brachyrhynchus). Within the last decade, a few adults of the Siberian race (kamchatschens) have been observed along the east coast, including at least three convincing records from Massachusetts.

While the identification of adults is straightforward (at least to separate from Ring-billed Gull), separating first-winter birds among these two species can present a serious identification challenge.