Mew Gull Larus canus canus; heinei; kamtschatschensis; brachyrhynchus

(last update: March 12, 2012)

Mew Gull (Larus canus) adult: March - April

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.
The American race brachyrhynchus is a breeding bird of Alaska, the American West coast and inland Canada. After the breeding season, it disperses south along the coast to California. Brachyrhynchus can be readily told from nominate canus, and therefore sometimes considered a full species: Mew Gull. The differences can be found in the bill (in some birds obviously small), but most in plumage.
Nominate canus is a common breeding bird in North Europe, wintering both in the breeding area and slightly south, to the northern coast of the Mediterranean. 
The race heinei breeds from White Russia eastwards to central Mongolia, in a broad band over the tundra region of inland U.S.S.R. It can be found wintering in the central Asian states, southern Black Sea and Caspian Sea and further south to the Persian Gulf. Part of the eastern population of heinei may follow a more eastern route to the coast of China.
Race kamtschatschensis breeds in eastern Siberia and, as the name indicates, Kamtschatcha. In winter it moves southwards along the coast, wintering in Japan, the Korea's and China. It is the largest race, almost as large as Herring Gull.  The description below largely follows from P.J. Grant: "Gulls, a guide to identification".

ADULT Mew Gull

Mew Gull has a partial moult in spring. It starts in February and is completed by April, leaving birds in so-called "adult summer" plumage. The head turns white, with a red orbital ring. The bill turns all yellow or yellowish-green. In summer, head, neck, tail and under-parts are completely white. The upper-parts are medium grey. The outer primaries are black with large white tips. The inner primaries and secondaries are pale grey with a white tip, creating a white trailing edge. The white crescents on the tertials are very broad.
Adult brachyrhychus normally have a black sub-terminal band on P5-P10. Between this black band and the grey centre, a large white spot is visible both from above and below on P5-P7, creating a string of pearls on these primaries. P9 and P10 show large white mirrors.

Measurements in mm's:
wing canus: 320-385 (Dwight), 321-380 (Birds of West. Paleartic III),
tail: 124-148, bill: 30-38,
tarsus: 48-58; n = 16 (Dwight, 1925); 
wing heinei: 351-395 (BWP III); 
wing brachyrhynchus: 328-366 (Dwight 1925);
wing kamtschatschensis: 365-412 (BWP III).

(The above mentioned data have different sources and probably different measuring techniques. It is therefore better to take the tables from Malling Olsen & Larsson, comparative differences much less likely to be contaminated by differences in techniques, on THIS PAGE.)

Upperpart grey tone:

delawarensis 3-4(5) Malling Olsen & Larsson 4-5 Howell & Dunn
canus 5-6(7) Malling Olsen & Larsson 5-6.5 Howell & Dunn
brachyrhynchus 5.5-7.5 Malling Olsen & Larsson 6-7.5 Howell & Dunn
heinei 6-8 Malling Olsen & Larsson 5.5-7 Howell & Dunn
kamtschatschensis 6-9 Malling Olsen & Larsson 6.5-8 Howell & Dunn

 

"brachyrhynchus" Mew Gull adult March - April

Mew Gull brachyrhynchus adult, April 20 2016, Ambleside Beach - Vancouver, BC. Picture: Pierre Cenerelli. Bird with much black on P8.
Mew Gull brachyrhynchus adult, March 01 2012, Richmond, CA. Picture: Walt Barnes.
2cy Common Gull (77401 bytes)Mew Gull brachyrhynchus adult, March 08 2014, Vancouver, BC. Picture: Mary Lepatourel.
2cy Common Gull (77401 bytes)Mew Gull brachyrhynchus adult, April 12 2008, Virginia Lake, Washoe Co., Nevada. Picture: Fugl.

"canus" Mew Gull adult March - April

Mew Gull canus SVS 7188031 8CY & 11CY, November 2013 & February - March 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Ruurd Jelle van der Leij & Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus 4th cycle (5CY) E21C March 16 2013, Benthuizerplas-Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. Picture: Maarten van Kleinwee.
adult Common Gull (76085 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult E592 March 30 2002, Dintelhaven, Maasvlakte, the Netherlands. A bird ringed as an adult at this location.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult BLB E164.300 March 25 2004, IJmuiden, the Netherlands (52.27N 04.33E). Ringed in Belgium. 
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, April 19 2006, Bergen, Norway. Picture: Frode Falkenberg.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 27 2009, Strøby-egede (Stevns), Denmark. Picture: Per Schans Christensen.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, March 12-13 2016, Grou, the Netherlands. Picture: Mars Muusse.
adult Common Gull (83330 bytes)Mew Gull canus adult, April 22 2002, Dintelhaven, Maasvlakte, the Netherlands.

"heinei" Mew Gull adult March - April

Mew Gull heinei adult, April 21 2013, Kyzyltan, Pavlodar oblast, E Kazakhstan. Picture: Oleg Lyakhov.
adult Common Gull - canus - in February. (41611 bytes)Mew Gull heinei adult, March 24 2012, Debrecen, Hungary. Picture: Papp Gábor.
Mew Gull heinei adult, April 18 2015, Karabalyk, NW Kazakhstan. Picture: Yuriy Malkov.
Mew Gull heinei adult, April 03 2015, Irtysh river, E Kazakhstan. Picture: Valentin Zenkov.
Mew Gull heinei adult, April 08 2016, Karabalyk, NW Kazakhstan. Picture: Yuriy Malkov.
Mew Gull heinei adult, April 18 2015, Karabalyk, NW Kazakhstan. Picture: Yuriy Malkov.
Mew Gull heinei adult, April 18 2015, Karabalyk, NW Kazakhstan. Picture: Yuriy Malkov.
Mew Gull heinei adult, April 25 2015, Karabalyk, NW Kazakhstan. Picture: Yuriy Malkov.
Mew Gull heinei adult, April 07 2011, Yamyshevo, Lebyazhinsky region,, Pavlodar oblast, E Kazakhstan. Picture: Oleg Lyakhov.

"kamtschatschensis" Mew Gull adult March - April

Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 03 2016, Nemuro - Hokkaido, Japan. Picture: Dev - gamebirds.me.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 03 2016, Nemuro - Hokkaido, Japan. Picture: Dev - gamebirds.me.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 03 2016, Notsuke - Hokkaido, Japan. Picture: Dev - gamebirds.me.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 07 2013, Kobe, Japan. Picture: Amenouoiwana.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 13 2010, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Goodhilda.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 13 2010, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Goodhilda.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 06 2008, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Seichoudoku.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 07 2013, Kobe, Japan. Picture: Amenouoiwana.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 09 2013, Kobe, Japan. Picture: Amenouoiwana.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 07 2013, Kobe, Japan. Picture: Amenouoiwana.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 09 2013, Kobe, Japan. Picture: Amenouoiwana.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 07 2013, Kobe, Japan. Picture: Amenouoiwana.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 09 2013, Kobe, Japan. Picture: Amenouoiwana.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 07 2013, Kobe, Japan. Picture: Amenouoiwana.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 09 2013, Kobe, Japan. Picture: Amenouoiwana.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 07 2006, Hasaki Xingang, Japan. Picture: Akimichi Ariga.
adult Common Gull (63404 bytes)Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 13 2010, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Goodhilda.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 24 2006, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Seichoudoku.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 20 2006, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Seichoudoku.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 13 2004, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Akimichi Ariga.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 11-16 2015, King's Beach, Lynn / Swampscott, MA, USA. Picture: Ryan Schain & Phil Brown.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 08 2005, Hasaki, Japan. Picture: Akimichi Ariga.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 08 2005, Hasaki, Japan. Picture: Akimichi Ariga.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 21 2008, Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Picture: Seichoudoku.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 02 2015, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Seichoudoku.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 21 2008, Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Picture: Seichoudoku.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, March 19 2010, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Seichoudoku.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 21 2008, Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Picture: Seichoudoku.
Mew Gull kamtschatschensis adult, April 23 2005, Choshi, Japan. Picture: Akimichi Ariga.