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Heuglin's Gull

Note: This page follows the taxonomy suggested in Buzun (2002). Heuglin's Gull (L. heuglini) is divided into two subspecies: "West Siberian Gull" (L.h. antelius) in the west and "Taimyr Gull" (L.h. heuglini or L.h. taimyrensis) in the east.


First Cycle


HEUGLIN'S GULL (23-25";51-55") heuglini=taimyrensis/antelius

BILL SHAPE: quite slim with little gonydeal angle; about 4x eye diameter; moderate to steep curve to culmen beginning 1/4 to 1/3 from the tip
HEAD SHAPE: rather small and rounded, on a rather slim, graceful neck; may impart a more delicate look
WING EXTENSION: long; 1-1.5x bill length
POSTURE/HABITS: usually smaller and slimmer than argentatus, but larger than most Lesser Black-backed; similar to fuscus in shape; has long, slim legs; taimyrensis averages larger than antelius (except in bill and tarsus length), but still slimmer than vegae.
BILL COLOR: all black or w/ pale pink near the base; may be quite pale by summer variable, but usually pale pink or yellowish w/ black subterm band; may show some gon spot yellow, paler at tip, w/ orange-red gon spot; 22% of ante show black mark
LEG COLOR: dirty pale pink; may have blue-gray tone may remain dirty pinkish or be yellowish yellow, but often paler than bill; may be greyish; feet may be pinkish; taim occaisionally orange-yellow
IRIS/ORB RING: dark dark or pale pale yellow to amber; orb ring red, rarely orange to orange-yellow
HEAD: rather white but with streaking or mottling on crown, nape, and esp. auriculars; thick spotting forms a hindneck collar white w/ streaking over crown, nape, and aurs; heavy spotting across hindneck, often to breast sides white w/ fine light streaks on crown and nape, thick spotting forms a hindneck collar; taim. may have heavier streaking at times; nape streaking thru Mar
UNDERPARTS: rather white w/ variable g-b mottling; undt covs barred; quite white by first summer mostly white; may have some g-b mottling down flanks white
black black black w/ rather small A-spots on P9-10, increasing to fairly large by P6-7;
(in flight):
dark, may show a faint pale window on the inner Ps no A-spots present medium-sized mirror on P10, set back from tip by thick black band; minority w/ small mirror on P9 (on taim usually restricted to the inner web); ante w/ black to P3 or P4; taim w/ black to P4 or P5; dark area contrasts strongly from below; most show whitish base to inner web of P10, often to P7 on taim; white tongues to P7 or P8 create a "string of pearls".
(in flight):
dark w/ pale fringe ... adult gray w/ broad white trailing edge
TERTIALS: quite dark g-b w/ large pale tips and scalloping quite dark w/ large pale tips adult gray w/ white crescent to 1/2 bill length
GREATER COVERTS: completely checkered or barred, appearing paler in flight rather uniform g-b with paler edges adult gray
LESSER & MED COVERTS: cool g-b w/ pale fringe and dark shaft streak; may show some adult gray by summer adult gray mixed w/ g-b adult gray
SCAPULARS: cool gray w/ pale fringe and dark shaft streak; may show some adult gray by summer adult gray adult gray w/ small white crescent
BACK: cool gray w/ dark centers; part or all adult gray by summer adult gray ante: adult gray is medium slate gray w/ slaty or brown hue, slightly lighter than graellsii; taim: lighter, but still w/ slaty or brown hue
RUMP: white w/ little dark patterning white white
TAIL: black w/ pale bases to all retrices, creating a bold black band white w/ irregular broken black tail band white