Larus armenicus

(last update: 7-9-2010)

Amir Ben Dov (Israel)
Mars Muusse (Netherlands)


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Larus armenicus

Filchagov, A.V. (1993): The Armenian Gull in Armenia. British Birds 86: 550-560.

Breeding biology and behaviour

Body movements during the Long Call display resembled those of the Lesser Black-hacked Gull, the head movements having a very large amplitude. At times in the Throw-forward phase, the bill nearly touched the belly, and in the Throw-back phase the head almost touched the back. Variations of this display were classified according to head position at the extreme point of the Throw-back phase: fuscus-type when the head was perpendicular to the ground surface or nearer to the back (plate 211); argentatus-type when the head-neck-back line was straight (plate 212); and intermediate-type. Of 54 displays observed, these types occurred in the ratio of 33:8:13, respectively.

The voice of the Armenian Gull is quite shrill and hoarse, and not so melodious as that of the Herring Gull. As shown by sonograms (fig. l), the harmonic structure of the Long Call resembles that of gulls of the cachinnans-fuscus part of the complex. The Long Call is uttered hurriedly, even excitedly, as with cachinnans.

Fig. 1. Sonograms of Long Call of different forms of Herring/Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus argentatus/fuscus complex.

A: L. a. argentatus (recorded by V. I. Grabovsky, Solovetskie Islands, White Sea, June 1988);
B: L. f. fuscus (details as for A);
C: L c. cachinnans (E. N. Panov, Ogurchinsky Island, SE Caspian Sea, April 1987);
D: L (a.) barabensis (V. Buzun, Saltaim Lake, Omsk region, May 1992);
E & F: L. (a.) armenicus (V. V. Leonovich, Sevan, Armenia, April 1990).