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France - Larus cachinnans ? (1 Viewer)

maxi6215

Active member
Hello,

I observed this gull the 7th February of 2018 on the beach of Calais in the north of France in the company of a Larus cachinnans.
I thought first of a Larus argentatus omissus but it has similar characteristics with Larus cachinnans ( the absence of streaks on the head, little eye, pale leg ). But It is smaller than the Larus cachinnans.
Maybe it's a hybrid cachinnans x argentatus or cachinnans x michahellis ?
Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the bird in flight.


Thank you in advance and excuse me because I don't speak English very well
Cordially Maxime
 

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avecaves

Active member
A bit of a mystery bird, thanks for sharing.

The yellowish legs indicate the type of argentatus that we see now and then here in Sweden passing through to Finland. But the small eye and the rounded head does not fit. Perhaps it has fluffed up its feather to create the almost illusion of a very large Larus canus, which its not.

Also the tibia is shorter than on the cachinnans, which is expected for argentatus. So my speculation would be a cachinnans x baltic argentatus if its not within the variation of a baltic argentatus.
 

maxi6215

Active member
Thank you very much for your opinion !

I think the hypothesis of a hybrid, must be the right but do you think we can identify it with certainty ?

Maybe a another expert opinion, could help us ??
 

Valéry Schollaert

Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or s
I'm far to be expert in gull, but I don't find it chocking for a Herring Gull, the common species in the area...
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
i'd also put it down as a weird herring gull. note orange orbital which in most hybrids (cachinnans x argentatus) is red.
 

maxi6215

Active member
Everyone is in agreement for Herring Gull ssp omissus ?

But how to explain the absence of streaks on the head while all the herring gulls have streaks ???
 

SteveClifton

Well-known member
Everyone is in agreement for Herring Gull ssp omissus ?

But how to explain the absence of streaks on the head while all the herring gulls have streaks ???

Different Herring Gulls acquire 'summer plumage' over a period of time, with the earliest ones having clean white heads well before Christmas. The majority are usually later than this though.
 

Valéry Schollaert

Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or s
Thanks for these informations !
So we can conclude for a Larus argentatus omissus ?

Larus argentatus, yes... now, identifying the sub-species is more risky especially that "omissus" is not considered as valid by main authorities such HBW and others.
 

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