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This gull showing features of Vega Gull Larus [argentatus] vegae was photographed at Corpus Christi Landfill, Texas on April 10, 2004 by Willie Sekula. I feel that this is a very good Vega candidate. The closest alternative might be a smithsonianusXthayeri hybrid, but a couple of things point away from this theory:-
1) Willie described the bird as being clearly darker-mantled than nearby HERGs and RBGUs (with richer rose-pink legs), and rather bulky - the size of an average smith HERG; certainly there is nothing in the structure to suggest thayeri ancestry.
2) The form of smith. from the NE of its wide range (i.e. those that nest just below thayeri on Baffin Island) has the most white, least black in the primaries - it seems quite unlikely that such HERGs combined with the even-less-pigmented thayeri could produce a bird with this much black in the primaries; note especially the virtually complete black subterminal band on P5, the extensive grayish-black on the inner webs of P10 and P9, and the small mirror on P9 not extending to the outer web - these are typical for vegae and seem very unlikely in a NE smith.X thayeri combination.

I would imagine that a NW smith X vegae hybrid would have less-crimson orbital rings, paler eyes, and more black (plus less subterminal white bands) in the primaries (as the NW smiths seem to have to most black/least white in the Ps.)

I have two elements of uncertainty in regarding this bird a Vega Gull:-
A) the primary tips are very worn, yet typically vegae is a late-molter, with all the images I can find from their normal range in March/April showing almost no wear. Keep in mind that the normal winter range of this species is very humid without sandy beaches; a vagrant wintering on the Gulf Goast has only dry, windy, sandy beaches to exist on, which may account for the atypical wear on the whole bird (including the loss of most winter head streaking)?
B) The dark elements of the inner webs to the outer primares seem rather pale - slate-grayish rather than black; is this okay for vegae?: