(Im)possible Gull-billed Tern at upper end of American Falls reservoir ...


Jay Carlisle
 


A torturous one here...  I’m helping the Intermountain Bird Observatory YB Cuckoo survey crew and last night ~815pm we were on McTucker Island when I saw a medium-sized tern with a thick black bill flew by heading downriver towards the reservoir.  More description in this eBird list - I have it under “tern sp.” as I’m struggling to believe it myself but I can’t make it into any other tern species 🤔🤔.  Back on McTucker now & just had 3 Forster’s - a very different look & build.

I’ll plan to look above and below the dam tomorrow after surveys and before heading back to Boise & figured I’d post this looooong shot for anyone birding the area to keep their eyes peeled.

Based on plumage, it was most similar to a non-breeding adult in Sibley - only some small dark “ear” patches, not a full black cap.



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