I was stunned, especially by the second photo below. I had never seen such a bird. They reported that both birds had yellowish legs and mantles a bit darker than Herring Gull. I could think of nothing better than some race of Yellow-legged Gull, but was unsatisfied with that explanation. The massive head and bill were not consistent with anything I could think of.
In late November 1997 I learned fom Paul Buckley that he and others had seen the same birds, and that they were Herring X Kelp hybrids. Such hybrid combinations had been occuring on the Chandaleur Islands for several years, and apparently some birds had finally shown up in Texas.
These may be the first widely available photos of them, and I thank the Franks for letting me put them here.
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