Gull Identification Workshop with Derek Lovitch

Saturday, January 26, 2019, 1:00pm – 4:30pm Save to Calendar

Join York County Audubon to learn how to identify gulls.



Please register by signing up on the York County Audubon website here. Weather dates or workshop updates will be posted on the York County Audubon website and Derek’s Web Page.


  • Members: $20.00
  • Non-Members: $25.00


Mather Auditorium

This two-part workshop, on Saturday afternoon, January 26 and Sunday morning, January 27, will get you started on unraveling the mysteries of gull identification. Actually, most gulls are not very difficult to tell apart, though adult and juveniles of most species look very different. We’re going to give ourselves confidence with identifying the easier plumages of our common species, and then tackle the more challenging intermediate plumages and the less-common species.

Ring-billed gull
Ring-billed Gull in flight. Photo by Marie Jordan

Part I of the workshop on Saturday January 26 will be indoors at the Mather Auditorium of the Wells Reserve at 342 Laudholm Farm Road in Wells and will be divided into two sections (you need not be present for both):

1:00 pm-2:30 pm – Beginning Gull Identification. Using Powerpoint and book resources, we’ll start with the basics of gull identification, such as feather topography and aging. We’ll then focus on our most common species: Ring-billed, Herring, Great Black-backed, Laughing, and Bonaparte’s Gulls.

3:00 pm-4:30 pm – Advanced Gull Identification. Now comfortable with the basics, we’ll move on to the uncommon species: Lesser Black-backed, Iceland, Glaucous, and Black-legged Kittiwake. Next up will be the rarities: Little, Black-headed, and yes, even “Thayer’s.” We’ll touch upon “Megas” such as Mew, Slaty-backed, and Sabine’s, and we’ll discuss hybrids. Finally, we’ll apply what we have learned to tackle and understand some identification quandaries, such as the famous “Westbrook Gull” before we finish up with some photo quizzes to test our new-found knowledge.

Part II: Sunday, January 27 (8:00am – 12:00pm):

We’ll meet in Portland (Back Cove parking lot on Preble Street Ext, opposite the Hannaford’s) to carpool around the area to apply what we have learned. We’ll spend some time with our most common species: Herring, Ring-billed, and Great Black-backed, and then seek out Iceland and Glaucous, and perhaps we’ll find something even better!

We hope that you will join Derek for this workshop to foster appreciation for this fascinating group of birds. Derek (with his wife Jeannette) owns and operates Wild Bird Supply in Freeport. He’s the author of “How to Be a Better Birder” and is well respected as one of the premiere birders in Maine and beyond.

York County Audubon is sponsoring this workshop. There is a registration fee of $20 for York County Audubon (or Maine Audubon) members and $25 for non-members, payable at the door. Space is limited. Please register by signing up using the form on the York County Audubon website here.  Weather dates or workshop updates will be posted on the York County Audubon website and Derek’s web page.

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