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#ABArare – Black-tailed Gull – Illinois

2016 continues to be a banner year for ABA Area rarities. Not only are a great many birds still hanging around into the new year, but great birds continue to be found all over the continent. The latest, an ABA Code 4 Black-tailed Gull, was found by Bill and Matt Rowe at Carlyle lake in southern Illinois. This would be the 2nd or 3rd record for Illinois, and one of only a few for the middle of the continent.

Photo: Leroy Harrison

Photo: Leroy Harrison

Carlyle Lake is located in Clinton Co, Illinois, about an hour by car directly east of St. Louis, Missouri. It’s the largest man-made lake in the state and has a history of excellent birds. The bird has been seen among the gull flock around the dam, which is just northwest of the town of Carlyle, Illinois. The bird has been seen from the marina on the southwest side of the lake, located on County Road 1430 N.

Black-tailed Gull is an east Asian species prone to vagrancy. Unexpectedly, most records come from Alaska, but it’s also been found in a number of states and provinces throughout the US and Canada. In just the past several years, it’s been seen in Newfoundland, California, and Washington state. In the center of the continent, records come from Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ontario, and Manitoba.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.