Franklin's Gull
(1st summer plumage)
Larus pipixcan

Montrose Point, Lincoln Park
Cook County, IL
14 June 2005

This Franklin's Gull in first summer plumage was resting with the Ring-billed and Herring Gulls at Montrose Point on the morning of 14 June 2005. The visible primaries on the standing bird were almost entirely black, showing just very small white tips. My feeling is that these primary feathers (P7 through P10) are retained juvenile feathers. In the second photo in the second row below, you can see the patterning on P6, with a larger white tip to this feather as well as a subterminal black band with white separating it from the inner gray of the feather. The white tips of the inner primaries are normally broader than those of the outer primaries on a typical first summer bird. Thus, it may be that this bird has molted all its primary feathers and just has unusually small white tips. However, it appears to me that it is more likely that this feather (P6) is the outermost of the molted primaries. Unfortunately, my photos were not crisp enough to allow a clear examination of the state of wear of these outer primaries. In some of the shots, it appears that the tips are worn and jagged in places (see especially the bottom left photo below), but I can't be 100% sure of this from these photos.


This page was last updated on 14 June 2005.
Contact Geoff Williamson with any comments, updates or suggestions.