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European Herring Gull from Paris ??? (1 Viewer)


seen this month , in France, 50 Km east of Paris :

2 pictures ; probably of 2 different birds; they were 10-12 .


Difficult for me to identify these juveniles.

The white part in the middle of wings make me think it's European Herring Gull, but I'm absolutely not sure !
Any idea???



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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
welcome to birdforum!

First bird, a 2 cy bird, is to difficult for me, but I hope that I get this question answered:
I have learned here about the the pale lozenges on the inner primaries as a feature of immature Herring Gull and they seems to be present here. Its a feature I have yet to study in the field, so I hope for comments!

The second bird seems a 3 cy YLG (=2. winter bird) to me.
Please note:
  • all white head and undertailcoverts and rear vent
  • what seems to be a distinct, clear cut tail-band
  • pale inner primaries are exagereated by back light shining through
grey areas on wing are moulted feathers, but I hope for others to confirm or correct, when it comes to large Gulls.

lou salomon

the birdonist
i agree on the IDs (2cy HG for the first, 3cy YLG second). as for the lozenges - these are vizible on the upperside of inner primaries. and they can appear in almost all taxa. herring gulls often with more than just lozenges, caspians very often show them, even YLG sometimes but less so LBBG. it's the pale parts on outer webs of inner primaries.

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Thank you Lou for confirmation (actually confident identification) of the YLG and the identification and comment about the feature of the Herring Gull!

thanks for your responses. I'm really impressed of your knowledge !

I put another picture of the first bird , the Herring Gull ; (on the same rock) we can see undertailcoverts are not white, OK
But to tell you the truth , I have a problem, I see the "clear cut tail-band" ; I represent it in red on the picture ; maybe a problem of my level in english????

I also add a new picture of bird 3 ; for me a Herring Gull ;
not white head
UPPER tailcoverts not white (but you said under )
But I still have the same problem with the " clear cut tail-band" ; for me it is here.

Thank by advance !



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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
sorry, then my post came out more confident then I was. I learn here like you, and also got and get help from other german gullers. Yes, some Herring Gulls have a quite distinct tail-band too, but such contrasting one (to whitish, sparsly marked uppertail-coverts and tail-base) adds to a YLG jizz for me.
As said, the confident ID came from Lou, and I must admit, I was facilitated, when I read his confirmation.

Your 3. bird seems another 2 cy YLG (=nearly 1 year old now) to me. Please note:
  • contrasting whitish head with sparsely markings that doesnt distract from white-headed appearance
  • nearly all dark bill
  • dark inner primaries
  • quite uniform dark greater coverts, fading into a more variagated pattern
The main confusion risk for your bird is Caspian x Herring Gull-hybrid.

And again: I learned much from comments from others here and comments to my own pictures from others and the articles in birder-magazines and online and the Gull-book by KMO (although I must admit I am only interested in the ID-ponts) and like many others I am eager to get the new ID-guide to get new input!
Hello ,
thanks again; even if your responses confirm I still have to improve on that topic of Gulls; for sure I will be back there to confirm identification.
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