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 4CY, July 27 2001, Le Portel, France (50.43N,01.37E).

Sub-adult michahellis with active moult in the tail-feathers and primaries. As in many immatures, the old primary P10 only shows a small mirror. The outer primaries are old: P8-P10 still have to be shed and the new primaries are just visible: P5 is at the length of P4.
The upper two tertials have been replaced for new grey feathers. Active moult continues in the lesser coverts and outer greater coverts, which have been shed. The medians and inner greater coverts are new. In the scapular region feathers have been shed as well and moult in the head feathers creates a moth-eaten appearance. Note the typical immature black markings on the outer secondaries, visible now the central greater coverts have been shed. Note also much black in the old outer rectrices and the brown greater primary coverts.

The secondaries are grey-based with white tips and blackish markings, indicating 4CY plumage rather than 3CY (which would have 2nd gen old secondaries).