Herring Gull- Zilvermeeuw (argentatus & argenteus)

(last update: 7-12-2006)


Herring Gull plumages:

hg 1cy July
hg 1cy August
hg 1cy September
hg 1cy October
hg 1cy November
hg 1cy December

hg 2cy January
hg 2cy February
hg 2cy March
hg 2cy April
hg 2cy May
hg 2cy June
hg 2cy July
hg 2cy August
hg 2cy September
hg 2cy October
hg 2cy November
hg 2cy December

hg 3cy January
hg 3cy February
hg 3cy March
hg 3cy April
hg 3cy May
hg 3cy June
hg 3cy July
hg 3cy August
hg 3cy September
hg 3cy October
hg 3cy November
hg 3cy December

hg sub-ad January
hg sub-ad February
hg sub-ad March
hg sub-ad April
hg sub-ad May
hg sub-ad June
hg sub-ad July
hg sub-ad August
hg sub-ad September
hg sub-ad October
hg sub-ad November
hg sub-ad December

hg ad January
hg ad February
hg ad March
hg ad April
hg ad May
hg ad June
hg ad July
hg ad August
hg ad September
hg ad October
hg ad November
hg ad December

Herring Gull 2cy (argentatus), March 17 2003, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.43N-01.37E).

This is probably a 2cy argentatus, with a freshly looking wing-coverts. This individual has most scapulars moulted for second generation feathers (upper scapulars: 100% moulted, lower scapulars 75-99% moulted, total: class 75-99% moulted). The last moulted lower scapulars show feathers with a buff-grey base and an anchor pattern on the top. The rear lowest scapulars are still juvenile. The upper scapulars, which were moulted earlier, last autumn, are bleached by now and the buffish tones have turned white. 
The partial autumn moult in argentatus may vary strongly depending on the geographic origin of individuals. The extend of the moult varies subsequently. In argenteus (moult from juvenile plumage into so-called "first winter" plumage) includes the body and head feathers. This moult starts as soon as the nest is abandoned (late June) and continues until January. In general, the head turns paler on throat and forehead, compared to the juvenile plumage. The second generation feathers on the breast are paler as well. The feathers on the vent and the under-tail coverts are still juvenile in most 2cy argenteus by January. From July onwards, after leaving the nest, the mantle and upper scapulars were moulted last year to second generation feathers, showing an anchor pattern and a dark base. The lowest row of scapulars, especially the rear feathers, are still juvenile or actively moulted by March in most 2cy birds (contra e.g. michahellis, which has finished the replacement in the lowest row). The notched pattern of the juvenile tertials, lesser, lower lesser and median coverts is not very obvious anymore by February, as the white parts are largely worn away. The juvenile greater coverts show a 'piano-key' pattern in argenteus; on the outer greater coverts as well. 
The secondaries, primaries and primary coverts are dark with a small white tip, but the juvenile inner primaries show an obvious pale window, prominent from below and above. The under-wing is rather uniform grey-brown patterned. The tail has a broad sub-terminal band and isolated dark bars on the basal half. The iris is dark, the bill is blackish, sometimes with a paler base, and the legs are flesh-pink.