Herring Gull - Zilvermeeuw (argentatus & argenteus)

(last update: 08 december 2003)

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Herring Gull adult (argenteus), April 15 2001, IJmuiden, the Netherlands (52.27N-04.33E).

In the primaries, note the broad black sub-terminal band on P10. The white tip of P10 is not connected with the mirror. The black patch between the apical spot and the white inner-web (the medial band) is very broad along the edge of the inner-web. Argenteus normally shows such a broad medial band, where it is restricted in argentatus. Note also the black sub-terminal marking on the outer-web of P5.

Already by the second week of February, at least 25% of adult argenteus from the Netherlands are in active moult on the head. This is often obvious in the feathers around the eye, which are shed by the second week of February, leaving a naked ring around the eye (visible at close range). Last years (2000-2003) winters have been very mild, with many adult argenteus back in the colonies by early February in the Netherlands (north to 53 latitude).