Mew Gull Larus canus canus; heinei; kamtschatschensis; brachyrhynchus
(last update: March 12, 2012)
Mew Gull (Larus canus) moulting into 3rd cycle (3CY): May - August
Mew 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.
3CY Mew Gull
Mew Gull has a partial moult in spring. It starts in February and is completed by April, leaving birds in so-called "second summer" plumage. The head turns white, with only a few dark markings in some birds. The small primary tips wear off and the black areas turn paler, brownish.
From early summer to October, a complete
moult will bring birds in so-called "third
winter" or "adult winter" plumage.
The head is white with spots, most densely in the hind-neck. The
under-parts, tail-coverts and rump are white. The upper-parts are
medium grey, with broad white fringes on the tertials. The third
generation primaries and later the adult primaries have a clear-cut
black triangle on the outer-wing. Black sub-terminal markings run
down to P6 or P5. From P1-P9 the primaries show extensive white tips
and the two mirrors on P9 and P10 are obvious (there may even be a
small mirror on P8). The iris is brown, the bill is yellowish with a
faint black bill-band and the legs are yellowish, greenish or
greyish, often with a flesh-coloured hue.
"brachyrhynchus" Mew Gull 3CY May - August
|Mew Gull brachyrhynchus 2nd cycle (3CY), July 11 2012, Sitka National Historical Park, AK. Picture: Arman Moreno.|
"canus" Mew Gull 3CY May - August
|Mew Gull canus-henei 3CY, May 28 2006, Bergen, Norway. Picture: Frode Falkenberg. Black spots in the 2nd generation secondary centres are a strong clue for eastern taxon heinei, and maybe as well for birds from the transition zone between canus and heinei.|
|Mew Gull canus 3CY, July 16 2013, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. Picture: Maarten van Kleinwee.|
"heinei" Mew Gull 3CY May - August
"kamtschatschensis" Mew Gull 3CY May - August