Gulls -- from the Canary Islands

(c) Harry J Lehto

Photographed in Las Galletas, Tenerife, February 1998.

Figure 1. The bird above bird is a normal 1st winter Herring gull type bird encountered in Tenerife. Some people call it Larus (argenratus/michaellis) atlantis. I don't take any stand on the taxonomic state.

Figure 2. Above The bird on the right shows a typical L (a/m) atlantis in 1st winter plumage, but what is the bird on the left? Note different shape of bill, head and length of legs. The same bird in flight is in Fig 3.

Figure 3. Is this cachinnans?
The answer seems to be NO. The mantle feather coloration doesn't fit, neither do really such things as the look and the length of the feet. Well, there were TWO of these kinds of birds present (both photographed, but not scanned). The other bird had a shorter bill, but still noticeably longer than the local atlantis'. Both individuals swam much more buoyantly than the several dozen atlantis gulls presents. I don't think that this (and the other) bird are atlantis, but they may still be some sort of a michaellis type gull.


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