Herring Gull - Zilvermeeuw (argentatus & argenteus): sub-adult July
(last update: 24 maart 2004)
(2 images) Herring Gull HT-205231 sub-adult (argentatus), July 15 2003, Tampere, Finland (61.31N, 23.43E).
Sub-adult argentatus, probably
5cy, metal-ringed HT-205231, ringed in Finland, probably in June 1999 near
Kanala. As soon as more data are available, this information will be added
to this page.
From June to December, sub-adult argentatus undergo a complete moult resulting in so-called "winter plumage". From June onwards, the new plain grey wing-coverts are moulted in, starting with the outermost median coverts and followed by the inner medians, the inner greaters, and the rest of median and lower lesser coverts. By August, the first neat streaks can be found on the crown and hind-neck. After the complete moult is finished by late autumn, the head will show extensive 'winter streaking' in argenteus, often neat fine streaking in sub-adult argentatus. Also, by the end of the complete moult, the scapulars, mantle and all the wing-coverts will be replaced and near-adult argentatus can hardly be distinguished from full adult plumage (except more black on the bill and often the dark centres in the outer greater primary coverts).
During the summer, the primaries are replaced. In argentatus, the last outer primary P10 will be fully grown by early December, slightly later than in West-European argenteus. However, first data from Tampere, Finland indicate that 3cy argentatus from this region are not delayed in primary moult compared to argenteus.
Adult northern argentatus show a
different pattern in the outer primaries, compared to argenteus. In
argentatus, especially from northern Scandinavia, the black markings
on P5 are very limited and, if black on P5 is present, this black often
has diffuse edges. More often, these black sub-terminal markings are
completely lacking on P5. In Baltic argentatus populations,
normally black on P5 is confined to the outer-web, with sharply defined