1. Leucistic Mew Gull Larus canus, San Francisco, California, USA, December 30, 2003.  This bird is not a complete albino because the eye and the tip of the bill are pigmented.  However, the plumage is completely white and unmarked. The dark bill tip suggests this bird is either a first or second-year bird.  MEGU_09

2. Leucistic Mew Gull L. canus, San Francisco, California, USA, December 30, 2003.  Same individual as above.  Note the frayed primary tips - these feathers are probably more fragile and susceptible to wear without pigment to strengthen them.  MEGU_10

3. Leucistic Mew Gull L. canus, San Francisco, California, USA, December 30, 2003.  Same individual as above.  Detail of the head, showing the dark iris and bill tip.  MEGU_11

4. Leucistic Mew Gull L. canus, San Francisco, California, USA, December 30, 2003.  Same individual as above.  MEGU_12

5. Leucistic Mew Gull L. canus, San Francisco, California, USA, December 30, 2003.  Same individual as above.  MEGU_13

6. Leucistic Mew Gull L. canus, San Francisco, California, USA, December 30, 2003.  Same individual as above.  MEGU_14

7. Leucistic Mew Gull L. canus, San Francisco, California, USA, December 30, 2003.  Same individual as above.  The spread wings and tail are all unmarked white.  MEGU_15

© Stephen J. Davies

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UPDATE ~ added January 6, 2004

After posting these photographs, I received e-mails form Brad Sillasen and Don DesJardin about a very similar bird Don videoed in Southern California in November 2003.  I've posted some of Don's videograbs of this bird below.  The bird was not relocated after November 25. The similarity is amazing.  Could it even be the same bird?  Many thanks to Brad and Don for their input, and especially to Don for contributing the videograbs.

8. Leucistic Mew Gull L. canus, Ventura, California, USA, November 25, 2003.  © Don DesJardin.

9. Leucistic Mew Gull L. canus, Ventura, California, USA, November 25, 2003.  © Don DesJardin.

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