Herring Gull- Zilvermeeuw (argentatus & argenteus)

(last update: December 15, 2011 )

Herring Gull - 4cy /sub-adults December

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".

rings argenteus: U.K.
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull A5AB 4cy (argenteus), December 07 2010, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
rings argenteus: Belgium
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull CPAX 4cy (argenteus), December 11 2011, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N, 1.34E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
2cy argenteus in March, ringed in France. (57822 bytes)Herring Gull MJAU 4cy (argenteus), December 04 2012, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N, 1.34E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
unringed 4cy / sub-adult Herring Gulls
3cy argentatus in January. (80207 bytes)Herring Gull sub-adult, December 02 2012, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
3cy argentatus in January. (80207 bytes)Herring Gull sub-adult, December 02 2012, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
3cy argentatus in January. (80207 bytes)Herring Gull sub-adult, December 03 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
3cy argentatus in January. (80207 bytes)Herring Gull sub-adult, December 03 2013, Katwijk, the Netherlands. Wingtip close to smith.
3cy argentatus in January. (80207 bytes)Herring Gull sub-adult, December 15 2012, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
3cy argentatus in January. (80207 bytes)Herring Gull sub-adult, December 15 2012, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
3cy argentatus in January. (80207 bytes)Herring Gull sub-adult, December 15 2012, Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
3cy argentatus in January. (80207 bytes)Herring Gull sub-adult (argentatus), December 19 2011, Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
3cy argentatus in January. (80207 bytes)Herring Gull sub-adult, December 02 2012, Katwijk, the Netherlands.
herring gull in December. (37656 bytes)Herring Gull 4cy (Larus argentatus), December 21 2002, Brouwersdam, the Netherlands (51.457N-03.51E).