Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis

(last update: October 08 2013)

Delfín González
Gabriel Martín
Antonio Gutierrez
Amir Ben Dov
Mars Muusse

Yellow-legged Gull michahellis 2CY, April 19 2002, Etaples, NW France (50.42N,1.34E).

Four images of michahellis in flight. With low tide, the left-overs of the fish-market provide plenty of food for michahellis resting on the dry river banks. They are obviously stronger than and dominant over argenteus and argentatus. Moreover michahellis use another foraging method; they dive and plunge into the water for food in a tern-like manner. But michahellis can't compete with marinus and Grey Heron which often steel food, especially from 2CY birds.

Above: April 19 2002: 2CY michahellis with all the rectrices and remiges still juvenile. Note the well conserved tail-feathers, still showing small white tips.  2CY michahellis still show the breast-band, or better, they show a collar of dense streaking in the hind-neck extending to the upper-breast, contrasting with the pale head. The head isn't really white but has a dark area around the eye and fine streaking on nape and crown.

Below: April 19 2002: two 2CY michahellis. Note the paler inner-webs of the inner primaries and the tail-pattern: a sharply demarcated black tail-band, which becomes narrower in the outer rectrices. In the background the Le Touquet airport. 

above: 2CY michahellis with the central tail-feathers moulted for second generation rectrices. Moult in the tail-feathers is a common phenomenon in 2CY michahellis in April. This individual also dropped the innermost primary p1. 
2CY michahellis wit all rectrices and primaries still juvenile.