Includes: Vega Gull and American Herring Gull
[ edit] Identification
Grey back and upperwings
Black wing tips with white spots
Bare yellow eye ring
Yellow bill with red spot
Non Breeding Adult
Brown streaks on head and neck
Brown with dark streaks
Whiter head and underparts
[ edit] Distribution
[ edit] European Herring Gull
Breeds widely across Northern
Europe from Iceland and the Faroes to northern Scandinavia and Arctic Russia, reaching south to the British Isles and France east to Germany, Poland, Belarus and the Baltic States. Has recently been recorded breeding in a Yellow-legged Gull colony in northern Spain.
Mainly resident or dispersive, except in north Norway, the Baltic, Finland and northern Russia where migratory.
Widespread in winter in Western and Central Europe.
Has bred on Svalbard and Bear Island.
[ edit] Vega Gull
Siberia; winters south to China
[ edit] American Herring Gull
Alaska east across northern Canada to Maritime Provinces, south to British Columbia, north-central Canada, and Great Lakes, and along Atlantic Coast to North Carolina.
[ edit] Taxonomy
[ edit] Subspecies
and Dickinson actually accept four subspecies in three groups:
European Herring Gull:
L. a. argentatus in Scandinavia and extreme northwest Russia, winters in northern and western Europe
L. a. argenteus in northwest Europe, winters to northern Spain
Vega Gull or East Siberian Gull
American Herring Gull
L. a. smithsonianus in northern North America, winters south to Central America
All three groups are accepted as full species by Gill and Donsker.
Occasionally hybridises with other species, eg Lesser Black-back, and particularly Glaucous Gull in Iceland.
This species also formerly included Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull and Armenian Gull which are now considered full species by most authorities.
[ edit] Habitat
Breeds mainly along rocky coastlines on cliffs, stacks and islands, in some areas on buildings or on flatter areas of shore and in others at inland lakes. Mainly coastal when not breeding but increasingly in urban areas and on farmland. Abundant at refuse-tips and around fishing harbours.
[ edit] Behaviour
They are scavengers; they will also take eggs and young birds.
[ edit] Breeding
They are colony nesters. 2-4 olive eggs are laid on the ground or cliff ledges and are incubated for 28-30 days.
[ edit] Vocalisation
Listen in an external program
[ edit] References
Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
[ edit] External Links