Sabine’s Gull

Xema sabini

This elegant gull is annual in the Pribilofs. There are scattered records throughout spring and summer, but the bulk of the birds are found in late summer and fall, especially during periods of high wind. Juvenile Sabine’s Gulls are distinctive, dressed in warm brown upperparts. Adults are unlikely to be confused with other hooded gulls. Look especially for the large white primary tips and grayish cast to the dark hood on perched birds. For birds in flight, the very prominent white triangle in the center of the wing, set of by black primaries and dark gray mantle are all excellent marks. Sabine’s gulls typically fly low over the water, in a very buoyant, tern-like pattern. Look for this species flying near shore, especially during winds, or sitting with other gulls in the Salt Lagoon or Big Lake.


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