postjuvenile moult in 1cy mich at beginning of september

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Picture ID: 872
Upload: 20.03.2011
Photo date: 01 September 2010
Location: eforie, black sea coast
Photographer © cristian mihai
Gallery: michahellis 1cy
Species: larus michahellis

3 different individuals.
upper:
head seems to have many 1nd gen. feathers with fine streaks although a part looks juvenile (plainer smudge around eye?), most scaps replaced, 9-10 LC replaced, 6-7 MC missing (ongoing moult), GC all juvenile, most of them diffuse dark with only GC 4-6 bearing contrasting speckles.

middle:
head and neck mostly white - moulting (note missing feathers), most scaps replaced but some lowers are still juvenile, few coverts replaced (3-4 MC, 1-2 LC).

lower:
moult more extensive than in the upper two in this bird. head moults actively (and looks pale otherwise), most scaps, at least 14 LC and 5 MC replaced with obviously patterned fresh 2nd gen. feathers. such YLGs in late summer/early autumn are readily separated by most other taxons of large gulls by extensiveness of postjuvenile covert moult, this is shared by ssp. atlantis as well. only a few caspian gulls show such an extensive covert moult in their first autumn.

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