Common Gull Larus canus canus & L.c. heinei
(last update: March 12, 2012)
Common Gull (Larus canus) 1cy October - December
Common Gull is a widespread species on the northern hemisphere with several sub-species: in N America brachyrhynchus,
in W Europe nominate canus, in W Asia and Russia heinei and in the Far
East sub-species kamtschatschensis.
1CY COMMON GULL
In juvenile plumage, the forehead, throat and nape are white, with the ear-coverts and crown streaked. The streaks of the hind-neck often create a collar, running down the sides of the breast into mottled upper-breast and flanks. The belly and vent are white. In nominate canus, the upper-tail coverts and rump are white with ill-defined chevrons. The under-tail coverts are white as well, some with arrow-heads. The scapulars and mantle feathers are buffish-brown centred with a pale fringe, creating a scalloped effect. The tertials and inner three or four greater coverts are brownish centred as well, with a pale buff fringe. The central and outer greater coverts are more extensive grey-brown, although the feathers have dark shafts and wedge-shaped centres. The median coverts, lower lesser and lesser coverts have brown centres, a dark shaft and buffish fringe, creating a dark carpal bar, contrasting with the pale greater coverts. The dark secondaries create another dark bar on the upper-wing. The secondaries have a white trailing edge, running further onto the inner five primaries. The four to five inner primaries show pale inner-webs; the outer primaries and primary-coverts are all dark. The axillaries and under-wing coverts are white based with black tips, creating lines over the under-wing. The tail-band is clear-cut in nominate canus, with the outer tail-feathers largely white. In the race brachyrhynchus the base of the tail-feathers is mottled, looking completely dark from a distance. Brachyrhynchus has very obvious patterned juvenile upper-tail coverts.
The partial autumn moult (moult into so-called "first winter" plumage) includes the body and head feathers. This moult starts as soon as the nest is abandoned and continues to late September in nominate canus. The race heinei, which breeds on northern latitudes may appear all juvenile well into December. The head and breast are moulted to second generation feathers, most reminiscent of the juvenile feathers. The mantle and scapulars are moulted to plain grey second generation feathers in canus.
|Common Gull canus 1cy ETM UA6497 December 04 2010, Leiden, The Netherlands. Picture: Maarten van Kleinwee.|
|Common Gull canus 1cy, November 06 2011, Buitenhoflaan - Leiderdorp, The Netherlands. Picture: Maarten van Kleinwee.|