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, May 04 2001, Etaples, NW France (50.42N,1.34E).

Active moult in the scapulars is in progress in this 2CY michahellis with about 12 third generation barred scapulars. Some third generation feathers recall second generation scapulars in their pattern, so note that third generation scapulars are not necessarily adult-like grey, with a pronounced shaft-streak.
Probably this is a male with its Classic huge michahellis-look (reminiscent of Scandinavian argentatus Herring Gulls). Compare the three upper pictures below and see how the stance influences the general jizz of the bird! In the first picture, it almost resembles a cachinnans, while in the next, it clearly has the profile of michahellis.
Half of the wing-coverts (outer half) is still juvenile and abraded. The inner 3 greater and some central lesser coverts (about 20%) have been replaced by second generation coverts. The median coverts were moulted randomly: 1-3 are fresh second generation, then 2 coverts are missing, #6-7 are second generation, #8 is still juvenile, #9-11 have been shed but the growing tips are just visibly.
Tertial #2-3 are second generation as well, but older, while the upper tertial is still growing and tertial #4-6 are still juvenile. Those scapulars moulted most recent, still have  a brownish centre.