Herring Gull- Zilvermeeuw (argentatus & argenteus)

(last update: December 15, 2011 )

Herring Gull - 3cy July

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".

Small surveys of primary moult score in France and Finland are presented below:

Remaining old primaries in 3cy argenteus at Le Portel - Boulogne/Mer, July 10 2002.
P5-P10 old 1
<P6 old* 2
P6-P10 old 23
P7-P10 old 88
P8-P10 old 59
P9-P10old 7 (P5 or P6 full grown)
P10 old -
n = 180; m old P= 3.8; SD old P = 0.79
The shortest old primary was scored.
* = in the folded wing, at least P5 was still present, but maybe P4 as well.

 

Primary moult score of 3cy argentatus Herring Gull, at Tampere landfill, Finland (61.33N, 23.59E) on July 10 2003.
. P4 fg P5 fg P6 fg ? fg n:
P6-P10 - - - 2 2
P7-P10 9 1 - 4 14
P8-P10 - 16 - 3 19
P9-P10 - - 2 - 2
n: 9 17 2 9 37
n = 37; m old P = 3.4; SD old P = 0.69.
Survey at Tampere, landfill, in resting group at 'the saddle', about 50 3cy Herring Gulls, probably 100% argentatus.
P6-P10 = P6-P10 are still old and present.
? fg = fully grown not known. Fully grown primary score most probably P6 or less.
fg = fully grown. In our field surveys, a primary is 'fully grown' when it exceeds the previous feather in the folded wing. Actually,  such 'fully grown' feathers may have to grow a little, but under field circumstances, it's very difficult to find out if the waxy sheath, which is the standard measurement for fully grown primaries, is still present. 

 

Primary moult score of 3cy argentatus Herring Gull, at Tampere landfill, Finland (61.33N, 23.59E) on July 13 2003, 15:00 h.
. P4 fg P5 fg P6 fg ? fg n:

P5-P10

- - - 1 1
P6-P10 - - - - -
P7-P10 2 1 - 8 11
P8-P10 1 40 3 25 69
P9-P10 - 1 9 - 10
n: 3 42 12 34 91
n = 91; m old P = 3.0; SD old P = 0.58.
Survey at Tampere, landfill, in resting group at 'Bio I'.

rings argenteus: UK
1cy argenteus in November, ringed in Belgium. (25637 bytes)Herring Gull A7JG 3cy (argenteus), 2011 & March-July 2012, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
adult argenteus in October, ringed in the Netherlands. (35116 bytes)Herring Gull (argenteus) 3CY BTO GR-53691 March-July 2013, Calais, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
rings argenteus: France
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull M3A, 3cy (argenteus), July 07 2009, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
rings argenteus: Belgium
3cy argenteus in July, ringed in Belgium. (66484 bytes)Herring Gull H-xxxxxx 3cy (argenteus), July 11 2002, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E).
rings argenteus: the Netherlands
2cy argenteus in February, ringed in the Netherlands. (27385 bytes)Herring Gull 5W 3cy (argenteus), July07 2009, Boulogne/Mer, France. Photo: J-M Sauvage.
1cy argenteus in November, ringed in Belgium. (25637 bytes)Herring Gull Y.BDS 3CY (argenteus), July 30 2014, IJmuiden, the Netherlands. Also as 1CY.
3cy argenteus in July, ringed in the Netherlands. (83725 bytes)Herring Gull 5.412.501 3cy (argenteus), July 09 2004, IJmuiden, the Netherlands (52.27N 04.33E). 
rings argentatus: Poland
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Poland. (75760 bytes)Herring Gull DN11467 3cy (argentatus), July 10 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
rings argentatus: Sweden
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Sweden. (77759 bytes)Herring Gull 90A12473 3cy (argentatus), July 15 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
rings argentatus: Finland
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (74898 bytes)Herring Gull C029N 3cy (argentatus), July 16 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (75582 bytes)Herring Gull C110P 3cy (argentatus), July 10-14 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (71834 bytes)Herring Gull C136V 3cy (argentatus), July 16 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (74907 bytes)Herring Gull C6C98 3cy (argentatus), July 15 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (71012 bytes)Herring Gull C6V34 3cy (argentatus), July 15-16 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (74127 bytes)Herring Gull C6V77 3cy (argentatus), July 16 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (77523 bytes)Herring Gull C7N54 3cy (argentatus), July 14-16 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (73986 bytes)Herring Gull CE942 3cy (argentatus), July 10-15 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (75251 bytes)Herring Gull HT-x77607 3cy (argentatus), July 15 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July, ringed in Finland. (74812 bytes)Herring Gull HT-224010 3cy (argentatus), July 15 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
 
unringed 3cy Herring Gulls
Herring Gull 3CY, July 09 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P3/P6.
Herring Gull 3CY, July 09 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P4/P7.
Herring Gull 3CY, July 09 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P5/P7.
Herring Gull 3CY, July 09 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P5/P8.
Herring Gull 3CY, July 09 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P5/P8.
Herring Gull 3CY, July 09 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P5/P8.
2cy argentatus in July. (70842 bytes)Herring Gull 3CY, July 18 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P5/P8.
2cy argentatus in July. (70842 bytes)Herring Gull 3CY, July 18 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P5/P8.
2cy argentatus in July. (70842 bytes)Herring Gull 3CY, July 18 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P6/P8.
2cy argentatus in July. (70842 bytes)Herring Gull 3CY, July 18 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P5/P8.
2cy argentatus in July. (70842 bytes)Herring Gull 3CY, July 09 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. PMS: P6/P9.
2cy argentatus in July. (70842 bytes)Herring Gull 3CY, July 18 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
Herring Gull 3CY, July 30 2014, IJmuiden, the Netherlands. PMS: P6/P8.
unringed 3cy Herring Gulls (argentatus)
possible 3cy argentatus/cachinnans in July. (71070 bytes)Herring Gull? 3cy?, July 15 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July. (75240 bytes)Herring Gull 3cy (argentatus), July 14 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July. (67849 bytes)Herring Gull 3cy (argentatus), July 14 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July. (75193 bytes)Herring Gull 3cy (argentatus), July 14 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July. (74118 bytes)Herring Gull 3cy (argentatus), July 15 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
3cy argentatus in July. (73291 bytes)Herring Gull 3cy (argentatus), July 14 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).