Herring Gull- Zilvermeeuw (argentatus & argenteus)
Herring Gull plumages:
hg sub-ad January
Herring Gull 3cy (argenteus), May 17 2002, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E).
This 3cy argenteus shows the ordinary features for argenteus in May: The scapulars create an all-grey saddle. It strongly contrasts with the brown-white chequered wing-coverts and dark centred tertials. The second generation primaries are bleached brown without white tips and lack a mirror on P10. The second generation tail has a broad dark tail-band.
3cy argenteus has
a partial moult in spring. It starts in January and is completed by April,
leaving birds in so-called "second summer" plumage. The head
turns white, especially on throat, breast and belly. By April, the
scapulars and mantle will show many adult-like grey feathers, often creating a
contrasting "grey saddle", as most of the wing-coverts
(especially the lesser coverts) are still barred. The old second
generation wing-coverts start
to fade and the fringes wear off.
This bird included the tertials #2-3 in last autumn's partial moult. A Some inner greater coverts, median and lower lesser coverts were moulted to third generation feathers as well. Those third generation wing-coverts are hard to recognize by May, as the patterns are very similar to the second generation feathers and the feathers are very worn. Note however that the feathers moulted last, are more adult-like in their general appearance, showing a grey base. The tertials are adult-like grey, but are worn at the tips and fringes.