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, October 22 2001, Westkapelle, the Netherlands. 

This individual shows the average moult timing in 2CY michahellis by the end of October. After the complete moult in summer, a partial moult was started from late August onwards. Most obvious replacements took place in the upper tertials and inner wing-coverts. Recently moulted feathers show a greyish-brown base and fringe combined with ill-defined dark brown patterns. Note the rather dense variegated barring on the outer greater coverts and the delicate head streaking on this individual. In the partial moult, replaced feathers include the second innermost greater covert, most of the outer and central median coverts and a few inner lower lesser coverts.
Most of the scapulars appear all grey, while some of these grey feathers may show a prominent dark shaft-streak. In many 2CY michahellis, and here as well, the upper two tertials were moulted last and lack the typical second generation dark brown-black centre; the pattern is rather narrow barred.

In this individual, note the rounded tops of the primaries, which still show a narrow white tip. Compared to juvenile fresh feathers, the tips of second generation feathers are rounded, where juveniles show more pointed tips. Click the thumbnail to view juvenile primary tips in October, also still showing a faint white crescent on the outer primaries.

In the top picture, note the front lower scapulars, elevated by the wind, showing the brown rows underneath.