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).

2CY michahellis with many third generation grey-based scapulars (about 95% of the scapular area). Some inner median and a few lesser coverts have been moulted to second generation feathers, but note the difference in the wings when you compare the pictures. In the right wing, medians #2, #3 and #6 are fresh grey. The inner 2 lesser coverts are old second generation (from the post-juvenile moult), with a barred pattern and the tips worn away. The rest of the wing is juvenile. Probably, the recently moulted grey median coverts are second generation as well, and contrast clearly with the second generation feathers which were replaced in the autumn moult. This supports the theory that feathers, acquired later in the season, may look more adult-like, although they still belong to second generation median coverts (as to say, those feathers replace the juvenile coverts).

The left wing shows many juvenile, abraded wing-coverts in the outer-half of the wing as well. Here, the inner median and inner lesser coverts show the same barred pattern as in the right wing (and were probably moulted before winter; see e.g. the wear in the tips of the median coverts).

The tail shows a broad black band, not the typical wedge-shaped band as in most michahellis.
Note again the bill, with a pale base.
And note again much streaking on sides, neck and head, not giving a white impression at all.