Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans

Photographed by Theo Bakker on July 17th 1999 at the VAM rubbish dump in the north-eastern part of the Netherlands.

Note its large size compared to the Lesser Black-Backed Gull Larus graellsii to the right, its small pale head, sloping forehead with its firm parallel bill and its elongated appearance and upright stance. The outermost greater coverts are virtually unmarked and the undertail coverts are spotted, not barred (both unlike e.g. YL Gull). The tertials are dark brown with a rather broad, pale edge.

Not all juvenile Caspian Gulls show a paler head like this one, but the ones I have seen so far did show the unmarked dusty-brown mantle, running up into the neck, which to me, along with its jizz, seems one of the key elements to pick out a juvenile PG.










This picture shows the rather pale underwing, which can be almost white on some birds. Note the almost unmarked brown belly with the large darker spot near its legs, the white undertail coverts with just a few dark spots (not barred as in Herring and Yellow-legged Gull) and the pale edge on the median and greater coverts, thus creating a double wingbar-effect.








Here the almost white uppertail-coverts, with the broad black tailband can be seen, along with the obvious thayeri-like (or 'Venetian blind') wingpanel, reaching from P1 to P8 and the pale edge to the greater coverts.

Note that juvenile Caspian Gulls apparently can show a white trailing edge to their tailfeathers, which (apparently) wears off later.





 Rudy Offereins

Pictures of another juvenile Caspian Gull (moulting to 1st winter) in early September

Back to the gullindex

Back to the main page