Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Breeding Status: List Type: Province Tally:

2 species
290 Not on Accepted ListYellow-legged Gull This European species is a relatively recent split from Herring Gull (1990's). There is a single published state record -- an adult photographed at Cape Hatteras Point on 13-14 Mar 1995* (Chat 60:153-156). It was accepted by the NC BRC (Chat 61:260-264) and added to the Official List, in 1996. There are several other unpublished reports of the species, all from the Cape Hatteras area, in the latter half of the 1990's, but none of these has been submitted for a vote by the NC BRC. It is well known that Herring Gull x Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrids can look quite similar to Yellow-legged Gulls, at least in the adult plumages. Also, because it is almost certain that a handful of such hybrids have occurred at Cape Hatteras Point each winter, there is a good chance that a "Yellow-legged Gull" report is actually such a hybrid, if not some other hybrid or simply some other species (such as a Herring Gull with yellow legs). In the latter part of the 2000's and early 2010's, a number of excellent references and websites on gull identification, especially with color photos, became available to the public. In 2012, the NC BRC re-voted on this 1995 record, armed with this new identification material. The vote by the Committee yielded an "Unaccepted Sighting" verdict, meaning that the species has been removed from the state's Definitive (and also Accepted) List (Chat 77:6-10).
12233 Not on Accepted ListViolet-green Swallow This Western species was accepted by the NC BRC to the Definitive List in 2011, based on a description and photo of a bird at Chapel Hill (Orange) in fall 2011. However, during 2013, "detective" work by one or two committee members and other birders found that the photo of the swallow was apparently taken in another state. The original observer, when told of this finding, then rescinded the report. The NC BRC decided to completely remove the species from the State List. Incidentally, there was a second report of Violet-green Swallow, from the same day and not too far away from Chapel Hill, by a second observer; this was a sight report, and the NC BRC did not accept this report. As a result, there have been two sight reports made of this species in North Carolina, but neither has been accepted as of the end of 2013.