American Herring Gull (smithsonianus)

(last update: October 30, 2015)

Amar Ayyash (US)
Bruce Mactavish (Canada)
Dave Brown (Canada)
Mars Muusse (Netherlands)

American Herring Gull adult July

European Herring Gull Larus argentatus argenteus at Moerdijk, the Netherlands.

The combination P10 with P5 as mentioned by Bruce Mactavish & Peter Adriaens (and see on previous page) could turn out to be diagnostic for smithsonianus. However, these two birds from Moerdijk on the previous page (mVZ & oHE) may come close to what is defined as the primary patterns for smithsonianus. Bruce & Peter continue their article for cases where P5 has no complete band. In such birds, there should be a following set of five features:

a: P10 again the broad rectangular tongue, combined with a complete sub-terminal band.
b: P9 has no mirror or a mirror only on the innerweb.
c: P7 (& P8) show bayonets.
d: P8 has a white tongue-tip on the innerweb.
e: P6 shows a "W" sub-terminal band.

Considering the vast variation in possible patterns on the outer-wing in Moerdijk Herring Gulls, as is shown on the pages of this website, one may wonder if such a combination of features may occur in (probably a very small portion of) Dutch breeding Herring Gulls as well. Below are some example birds which come close regarding this set of five.

Below: Herring Gull oPL:

Below: Herring Gull m39:

Below: Herring Gull m42:

East coast birds

American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) adult AAV July 26 2011, 10 miles offshore from Sable Island. Picture: Tracey Haines.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) 6cy-7cy C17 2010 & 2011, near Appledore Island, NH. Picture: Justin Stilwell & Jon Worthen.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) K30 2CY & 6CY, August 2011 & July-September 2015, Hampton Beach, NH. Picture: Gustine Silva-Burke, Robbie & Colleen Prieto.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) U03 adult, July 2015 & January 2016, New Hampshire & Brooklyn. Picture: Amar Ayyash & Klemens Gasser.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) adult, July 19 2009, Nova Scotia, Canada. Picture: Blake Maybank.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) adult, July 17 2009, Boutiliers Point, Nova Scotia, Canada.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) adult, July 09 2008, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Canada.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) adult, July 06 2012, Newport Harbor, Newport, RI. Picture: Dean Fleischman.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) adult, July 09 2012, Portland, Maine. Picture: Bill Bunn.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) adult, July 02 2010, Bass Harbour, Maine, USA. Picture: Jim McCree.
American Herring Gull (smithsonianus) adult, July 06 2010, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Picture: Michael Shepard.