Herring Gull- Zilvermeeuw (argentatus & argenteus)

(last update: December 15, 2011 )

Herring Gull - 2cy November

Introduction

This website deals with the Herring Gulls of the taxa argentatus and argenteus. Argenteus is an abundant breeding species on Iceland, Britain, NW France, Belgium, the Netherlands and N Germany. The taxon argentatus breeds in NE Europe, from Denmark, the coast of the Baltic Sea, Scandinavia and coast of the White Sea. In the centre of the breeding range (Denmark and the NW German coast), birds show intermediate characteristics, indicating there is a cline in argenteus-argentatus. Argenteus in Western Europe is pale-backed, slightly smaller and with relatively much black in the wing-tip; argentatus in the NE Europe is larger, slightly darker on upper-parts and show less black in the wing-tip.
Due to the large breeding range, there is much intra-specific variation in argentatus, with most large, powerful birds in the northern populations, showing the most darkest upper-parts, longest wing and most white in the outer-wing. In this region, some populations may hold substantial number of yellow-legged argentatus. (referred to as "Finnmark yellow-legged argentatus"). In adult plumage, the black sub-terminal spot on P5 is often lacking or strongly reduced to a diffuse streak, broken at the centre. Sometimes P6 lacks black as well. 
In the Baltic region, other yellow-legged argentatus populations occur ("Baltic yellow-legged argentatus"), with adults showing even brighter yellow legs in summer and the upper-parts only slightly darker than West European argenteus, still much paler than Yellow-legged Gull (michahellis). Those Baltic argentatus often show a black sub-terminal spot on P5 in adult plumage.
On these web-pages, we largely follow P.J. Grant: "Gulls, a guide to identification" and E.K Barth's publication as Contribution No. 86, Zoological Museum, University of Oslo: "The circumpolar systematics of Larus argentatus and Larus fuscus with special reference to the Norwegian populations".

Comparison to some related taxa.

argentatus KW65 2CY, November 18 2014, Terschelling, the Netherlands (Jacob Jan de Vries). N Scandinavian birds with snouty look and bulky, often still no grey feathers. argenteus A3CV 2CY, November 26 2006, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (Jean-Michel Sauvage). Pale grey upperparts. Advanced in upperparts with many grey feathers, in combination with 2nd gen flight feathers.
marinus NOS 337783 2CY, November 06 2013, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (Jean-Michel Sauvage). Powerful species, heavy bill, short legs and short primary projection. Often only limited and delicate streaking on head.

smithsonianus) M99 2CY, November 23 2013, Salisbury, MA, USA (Gracie5964). Overall dark grey-brown texture, all black tail and much patterning on rump, upper- and undertail coverts.

cachinnans PKAC 2CY, November 19 2012, Minden, Germany (Armin Deutsch). White-headed, many grey scapulars and often many MC replaced in partial autumn moult, now forming a grey row over the covert panel. michahellis ITB CH3160 2CY, November 05 2010, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (Pim Wolf). Often fierce expression, obvious gonys and advanced partial moult with bold arrow-head patterns on grey-based inner coverts.

intermedius V1SA 2CY, December 13 2009, Madrid, Spain (Delfín González). New feathers show the dark slate grey tone of adults.

graellsii BLB L-106845 2CY, November 01 2004, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (Pim Wolf). New feathers show the dark slate grey tone of adults.

Classic flight feather patterns in flying birds

juvenile & 1st winter (1st cycle) birds. All flight feathers 1st generation.
Note pointed tips.

Herring Gull argentatus 1st winter, December 20 2009, Simrishamn, Sweden (Hans Larsson). Herring Gull 1st winter, January 23 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).
Herring Gull argentatus 1st winter, February 15 2012, Simrishamn, Sweden (Hans Larsson). Herring Gull 1st winter, March 05 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).
 

2nd winter (2nd cycle) birds. All flight feathers 2nd generation.
Rounded tips, birds sometimes with faint mirror on 2nd gen P10 (especially argentatus).

   
Herring Gull argentatus J6785 2nd winter, November 10 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse). Herring Gull argenteus NLA 5.463.845 2nd winter, August 14 2011, IJmuiden, the Netherlands (Maarten van Kleinwee).
Herring Gull argentatus J5217 2nd winter, March 14 2014, Sandøya, Norway (Ingar Støyle Bringsvor). Herring Gull argenteus 2nd winter , March 05 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).
   

3rd winter (3rd cycle) birds. All flight feathers 3rd generation.
Inner primaries adult-like, almost blackish sub-terminal bands on central and outer primaries.
Some birds still no mirror on 3rd gen P10.

   
Herring Gull argentatus KH89 3rd winter, October 31 2011, IJmuiden, Netherlands (Mars Muusse). Herring Gull 3rd winter, January 23 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).

Herring Gull 3rd winter, February 27 2012, Noordwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).

Herring Gull 3rd winter, February 07 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).
   

4th winter (4th cycle) birds. All flight feathers 4th generation.
In general adult-like birds.
Slightly more black than in full adults; last immature markings (often on primary coverts).

   
Herring Gull argenteus sub-adult (probably 4th winter), February 25 2012, Noordwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse). Arrow: dark centres of greater primary coverts. Herring Gull argenteus sub-adult (probably 4th winter), January 23 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).
Herring Gull argenteus sub-adult (probably 4th winter), November 26 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse). Herring Gull argenteus sub-adult (probably 4th winter), March 01 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).
   

Adult winter.
More black / less white in wingtip of argenteus, less black in argentatus.

   

Herring Gull argentatus CA56L adult, April 04 2014, Pori, Finland. Picture: Petteri Mäkelä.

Herring Gull argenteus MADC 10CY, November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).
Herring Gull argentatus adult, February 14 2012, Noordwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse). Herring Gull argentatus adult, February 21 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).
Herring Gull adult, January 23 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse). Herring Gull argenteus adult, March 05 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands (Mars Muusse).

 

rings argenteus: U.K.
1cy argenteus in November, ringed in Belgium. (25637 bytes)Herring Gull A3CV 2cy (argenteus), November 26 2006, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull A7BS 2cy (argenteus), November-December 2011, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
ad LBBG in winter, ringed in the Netherlands. (65647 bytes)Herring Gull (argenteus) 2cy S0BT November 07 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
ad LBBG in winter, ringed in the Netherlands. (65647 bytes)Herring Gull (argenteus) 2cy SU3T November 13 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull (argenteus) 2cy BTO GR20814 November 28 2012, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
rings argenteus: Belgium
2cy argentatus in November, ringed in the Norway. (83436 bytes)Herring Gull CJAT 2cy (argenteus), November 13 2009, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (51.33N 03.25E).
2cy argentatus in November, ringed in the Norway. (83436 bytes)Herring Gull CSAR 2cy (argenteus), November 13 2009, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (51.33N 03.25E).
juvenile LBBG in October, ringed in Norway. (131273 bytes)Herring Gull FBAD 2cy (argenteus), November 26 2006, Oostende, Belgium.
juvenile LBBG in October, ringed in Norway. (131273 bytes)Herring Gull H-132328 2cy (argenteus), November 26 2006, Oostende, Belgium.
juvenile LBBG in October, ringed in Norway. (131273 bytes)Herring Gull H-145041 2cy (argenteus), November 26 2006, Oostende, Belgium.
juvenile LBBG in October, ringed in Norway. (131273 bytes)Herring Gull H-145064 2cy (argenteus), November 26 2006, Oostende, Belgium.
juvenile LBBG in October, ringed in Norway. (131273 bytes)Herring Gull H-145197 2cy (argenteus), November 26 2006, Oostende, Belgium.
rings argenteus: Netherlands
2cy argentatus in November, ringed in the Norway. (83436 bytes)Herring Gull (argenteus) RR 2CY & 6CY, November 2010 & January 2014, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (90079 bytes)Herring Gull L4 2cy (argenteus), November 28 2004, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (52.21N - 04.52E). Picture Ruud Altenburg.
juvenile LBBG in October, ringed in Norway. (131273 bytes)Herring Gull ZN 2cy (argenteus), November 16 2005, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (51.33N 03.25E). Picture Pim Wolf.
2cy argenteus in February, ringed in the Netherlands. (27385 bytes)Herring Gull 5W 2cy (argenteus), November 28 2008, Boulogne/Mer, France. Photo: J-M Sauvage.
2cy argenteus in February, ringed in the Netherlands. (27385 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy 70 (argenteus) November 13 2009, Westkapelle, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in February, ringed in Russia. (84802 bytes)Herring Gull E433 2cy (argenteus), November 26 2006, Oostende, Belgium.
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (65412 bytes)Herring Gull 6.126.710 2cy (argenteus), November 02 2008, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy 6.166.595 (argenteus), November 10 & 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (65449 bytes)Herring Gull 5.365.084 2cy (argenteus), November 16 2002, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (51.33N 03.25E).
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (79873 bytes)Herring Gull 5.365.172 2cy (argenteus), November 02 2002, Brouwersdam, the Netherlands (51.45N-03.52E).
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (69335 bytes)Herring Gull 5.36x.xxx 2cy (argenteus), November 02 2002, Brouwersdam, the Netherlands (51.45N-03.52E).
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (72257 bytes)Herring Gull 5.365.76x 2cy (argenteus), November 17 2002, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (51.33N 03.25E).
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (65412 bytes)Herring Gull 5.412.501 2cy (argenteus), November 11 2002, IJmuiden, the Netherlands (52.27N 04.33E). 
rings argentatus: N Germany
adult argentatus in November, ringed in Denmark. (56984 bytes)Herring Gull (argentatus) HV594 2CY, November 18 2014, Terschelling, the Netherlands. Picture: Jacob Jan de Vries.
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull argentatus HX44 2CY, November 21 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
rings argentatus: Denmark
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (65412 bytes)Herring Gull (argentatus) VT4L 2CY, November 10 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (65412 bytes)Herring Gull 4287317 2cy (argentatus), November 10 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
rings argentatus: Norway
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull J1490 1cy-2cy (argenteus), November 2011-2012, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in the Netherlands. (65412 bytes)Herring Gull (argentatus) J6785 2CY, November 10 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
adult argenteus in October, ringed in the Netherlands. (35116 bytes)Herring Gull (argentatus) 2CY JX303 November 22 2013, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (50°43'34"N 001°35'04"E). Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
2cy argentatus in November, ringed in the Norway. (83436 bytes)Herring Gull JXOS 2cy (argentatus), November 06 2004, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (51.33N 03.25E). Picture Pim Wolf.
juvenile LBBG in October, ringed in Norway. (131273 bytes)Herring Gull J9RZ 2cy (argentatus), November 01 2007, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (51.33N 03.25E). Picture Pim Wolf.
rings argentatus: Sweden
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull (argentatus) 90886xx 2CY, November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
rings argentatus: Russia
2cy argenteus in November, ringed in Russia. (77184 bytes)Herring Gull KP51 2cy (argentatus), November 11 2002, IJmuiden, the Netherlands (52.27N 04.33E). 
unringed 2cy Herring Gulls
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argenteus), November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argenteus), November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argenteus), November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argenteus), November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 26 2013, Katwijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy, November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy, November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy, November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy, November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy, November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy, November 21 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy, November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy, November 26 2013, Katwijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy, November 17 2014, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argenteus), November 10 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argenteus), November 10 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argenteus), November 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argenteus), November 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argenteus), November 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 23 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 10 2011, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
2cy argentatus in November. (81321 bytes)Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), November 22 2001, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (51.33N 03.25E). With features of smithsonianus.