American Birding Podcast



Errata: Gulls of the World

By Peter Adriaens and Amar Ayyash

Gulls of the World: A Photographic Guide, by Klaus Malling Olsen

Princeton University Press, 2018

488 pages—hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14824

See the full review by Peter Adriaens and Amar Ayyash here.

p. 16: The white head of second-summer large gulls is stated to be “mainly a result of bleached juvenile feathers.” This is incorrect; juvenile feathers are worn only up to approximately one year of age, and the white head of the second-summer plumage is acquired through molt.

p. 31:  A “new moon” is defined as a “white area between grey and black,” but the corresponding line on the lower drawing points to just a gray area. This term is also loosely used in the photo captions to refer to the whitish fringes at the tip of the outer primaries of some second-cycle gulls (for example,p. 133 Plate 7).

p. 47: The Pallas’s Gull also winters in Georgia and Armenia, as well as in eastern Turkey. Contrary to the map, it does not breed along the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, though it winters there.

p. 52: The Audouin’s Gull winters much farther south along the coast of West Africa, all the way to Senegal and The Gambia. This is mentioned in the text but not shown on the map.

p. 79: The map for the subspecies canus of the Common Gull shows the breeding range too far east in Russia. The winter range is shown to include the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea ,and the Middle East, all areas where, according to current knowledge, only heinei is found.

p. 79: The eastern wintering range of the subspecies heinei of the Common Gull is shown as identical to that of the Kamchatka Gull (map p. 86). It is doubtful that this is really the case; the taxon seems particularly scarce in Japan and South Korea, for example.

p. 95: Plates 15 and 16 have been transposed.

pp. 103-107: Based on the photos shown here, there is no convincing basis for assigning all of these individuals to subspecies.

p. 106: Plate 12 shows a Glaucous-winged x Western Gull, not a California Gull.

p. 130: Contrary to what is shown on the map, the Great Black-backed Gull does not breed in Portugal.

p. 134: Plate 11 shows a first-winter Great Black-backed Gull, not a second-winter.

p. 134: Plate 14 shows a (retarded) third-summer Great Black-backed Gull, not a second-summer. It can be aged by the adult-like secondaries, prominent white tips to inner primaries, and white mirror not only on p10 but also on p9.

p. 147: Plate 6 shows a second-winter Glaucous-winged Gull, not a first-winter.

p. 148: Plate 7 shows a second-winter Glaucous-winged Gull, not a first-winter.

p. 149: Plate 13. Caption should read “2nd summer moulting into 3rd winter.”

p. 151: Plate 25. This controversial hybrid seems more likely a Glaucous-winged x Western Gull rather than a Glaucous-winged x American Herring Gull.

p. 156: Plate 9 should be credited to Amar Ayyash.

p. 159. The molt notes for the Yellow-footed Gull make no mention of that species’ extensive molt to second- and third-summer plumage, a molt that often includes six to eight primaries and is unique among large Nearctic gulls.

p. 160: Plate 3 shows a second-summer Yellow-footed Gull, not a first-winter. Contrary to the caption, the bird does not show any signs of first-year plumage.

p. 167: Plate 14. This Glaucous Gull, photographed in the Netherlands, was a juvenile bird moulting into second-winter, not a second-summer bird.

p. 170: Plate 26 shows a second-winter “Viking Gull,” not a first-winter.

p. 171: Plates 32 and 33 depict another controversial hybrid. The influence of Glaucous Gull does not seem indicated, and the bird is more likely an American Herring x Great Black-backed Gull.

p. 183: The Thayer’s Gull is still quite rare on the Atlantic Coast.

p. 183: The Thayer’s Gull is is more regular in Japan than the text suggests. Rather than being “almost annual,” small numbers winter every year.

p. 183: The map shows the Thayer’s Gull breeding in an extensive area south of Hudson Bay, close to the province of Ontario, Canada; this should have been marked as a wintering area. The taxon is also regular all winter at Lake Superior and southern Lake Erie and on the Colorado Front Range, areas not indicated on the map.

p. 197: Plate 23. This American Herring Gull, photographed by Peter Adriaens in January, was in third-winter plumage, not third-summer.

p. 202: The wintering ranges of the subspecies argentatus and argenteus of the Herring Gull are shown as identical. This is incorrect; the winter range of argenteus is restricted to Western Europe.

p. 207: Plate 15 shows a 1st-winter Great Black-backed Gull, not a Herring Gull.

p. 207: Plate 17. This first-winter “Herring Gull” looks very similar to Yellow-legged Gull, and may well be that species. 

p. 235: The map for the Caspian Gull omits the Black Sea, one of the main wintering areas.

p. 244: Whether the Steppe Gull winters along the Caspian Sea is still a matter of debate.

p. 250: Plate 8 shows a first-winter Mongolian Gull, not a second-winter.

p. 250: Plate 9 shows a first-summer Mongolian Gull, not a second-summer.

p. 253: The Vega Gull is stated to “hybridise with Glaucous-winged Gull in ranges of overlap,” but the breeding ranges of these two species are not known to overlap.

p. 256: Plate 7. In several respects, such as the seemingly juvenile outermost primary, wing coverts, and tertials, this Vega Gull looks more like a first-winter than a second-winter.

p. 262: Plate 6 shows a first-summer Glaucous-winged Gull, not a Slaty-backed.

p. 269: Plate 5. The identification of this first-winter “Lesser Black-backed Gull” is currently under discussion. The bird has been submitted to the French rarities committee as a possible Atlantic Yellow-legged Gull. 

p. 271: Plate 11. This Lesser Black-backed Gull is a first-winter, not a second-winter.

p. 271: Plate 14. This Lesser Black-backed Gull, photographed by Peter Adriaens, is a first-summer, not a second-summer. The visible primaries are still juvenile, as is confirmed by the flight shots of this bird.

p. 275: The author writes that “Claimed hybridization between intermedius and fuscus in N Norway (is) not supported.” Helberg et al. have reported nine mixed colonies in northern Norway.

p. 297: Plate 10. This is an adult summer Hartlaub’s Gull, not an adult winter Grey-headed Gull.

p. 308: Plate 2. This Black-billed Gull is a first-winter, not a “second-year.” The primaries, wing coverts, and tertials are still juvenile, and the dark secondaries are visible.

p. 319: While the text states here that no hybrids involving the Slender-billed Gull are known, hybrid Slender-billed x Brown-headed Gulls are described on p. 290.

p. 320: The winter range of the Slender-billed Gull includes the shores of the Black Sea, which is not shown on the map. The species also winters in Guinea. In addition, it breeds in Senegal, Turkey (a few thousand breeding pairs), and Egypt (ca. 5,700 pairs at Port Said). None of this information is shown on the map.