Franklin's gull in Victoria, Western Treatment Plant Werribee

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Subject: Franklin's gull in Victoria, Western Treatment Plant Werribee
From: "Rohan Clarke" <>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 09:53:22 +1100
Hi All,
I have now seen an image of the gull that was at the Western Treatment Plant on 
Saturday. I reckon it is a Franklin's gull. Features that separate the bird 
from laughing gull are generally finer build, more compact rounded head 
(laughing gulls have long 'flat' heads), white eye-lids that are broad 
(laughing is typically finer), relatively fine bill (not long and drooping) and 
classic dark headed pattern of a non-breeding adult or second winter.  There 
are small white mirrors on the primary tips though the photograph doesn't show 
a lot of detail here. I suspect these are heavily abraded and only the remnants 
of larger mirrors remain. In the closed wing a broad white bar formed by white 
ends to the tertials and secondaries is also visible just behind and abutting 
the primaries. The width and prominence of this is typical of Franklin's but 
atypical for Laughing Gull.


Dr Rohan Clarke
Threatened Mallee Bird Project
Zoology Department
La Trobe University
Bundoora 3086
Ph: 03 9479 1672 Mobile 0408 947001

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