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Large gull id help please, Baghdad, Iraq (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hi, these photos were taken March 5 at about 12:05pm of gulls (and a few other birds) resting on a sandbar in the Tigris in the middle of Baghdad. Unfortunately because of the distance the photos are not great. So I have posted more on some perverse idea that quantity might make up for quality lol.
I posted a thread a few days ago with one blurry photo and received a couple of very helpful suggestions, though because of the photo quality an exact id was not possible.
It is the larger gulls that I am asking id help on please, though if I am wrong on the other bird species please correct me.

Photo 1 is a large gull on its own. I am thinking it might be an Armenian gull, but I have been told it might be a 3rd year steppe gull. Is it possible to say either or something else?
Photo 2 is a different bird, beside I believe a great cormorant for size comparison.
Photo 3 is a different bird again, with some black-headed gulls for a size comparison.
Photo 4 is of a youngish large gull, with the gray heron and spur winged lapwings for size comparison. I included it as it seemed to give a better view of the wing tips and tail.
I do not know if the 4 large gulls in the different photos are the same species or not, but I was thinking they likely were, but maybe not:)

Thank you in advance. I do have other photos I can post but they are of similar poor quality.


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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
first one is a Greater Black headed Gull = Pallas's gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus imleo. Please note:
the right slooping head profile with square rear head, together with long-nosed bill
small head in realtion to bulging breast.
just visible right shape of a dark mask abnd white eye-lids. I think this head-pattern is less visible because of haze in a long distance shot.

I have seen only one Pallas's gull before, but: when visiting the area and searched for the reportet bird, the gull stood out among the other great gulls by this shape. And when I saw this picture, it reminded me of this.

Is this a confident answer? No, imleo = in my little experienced opinion


Well-known member
Thank you for the information Alexander. I will just have to find a way to be able to take some closer shots. But your suggestion of Pallas and others' of other photos of possible Armenian will help me greatly in knowing what to look for.
much appreciated for taking the time to make your comments.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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