Armenian gull

The Armenian gull (Larus armenicus) is a large gull found in the Caucasus and Middle East. It was formerly classified as a subspecies of the herring gull (L. argentatus) but is now generally considered to be a separate species although BirdLife International lumps it with the yellow-legged gull (L. michahellis).

The Armenian gull is a fairly large gull species, though is on average the smallest of the "herring gull" complex. It can range from 52 to 62 cm (20 to 24 in), from 120 to 145 cm (47 to 57 in) across the wings and weighs from 600 to 960 g (1.32 to 2.12 lb). Among standard measurements, its wing chord is 38.5 to 45.8 cm (15.2 to 18.0 in), its bill is 4.1 to 5.6 cm (1.6 to 2.2 in) and its tarsus is 5.7 to 6.4 cm (2.2 to 2.5 in).[3] They are superficially similar to yellow-legged gulls but are slightly smaller with a slightly darker grey back and dark eyes. The area of black on the wingtips is more extensive with smaller white spots. The bill is short with a distinctive black band just before the tip. First-winter birds are mainly brown. They have a whitish rump, pale inner primary feathers and a narrow, sharply-defined black band on the tail. Although their ranges do not overlap, with its darkish mantle, both black and red near the tip of its bill and a dark eye, the Armenian gull bears a remarkable resemblance to the California gull of North America.

The Armenian gull nests beside mountain lakes in Georgia, Armenia, Turkey and western Iran. The largest colonies are at Lake Sevan and Lake Arpi in Armenia. It is a partial migrant with many birds wintering on the coasts of Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. Smaller numbers reach Cyprus, Egypt and the Persian Gulf.

The nest is a mound of vegetation built on the ground on an island or the lakeshore. Three eggs are laid, mainly in late April. The nesting colonies are very dense with nests close together and territorial conflicts common.

Armenian gull
Armenian Gull standing, closeup at Sevan Lake
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
Species:
L. armenicus
Binomial name
Larus armenicus
Buturlin, 1934
Synonyms[2]

Larus cachinnans armenicus

Gallery

3 Armenian Gulls - front, back and side views

At Sevanavank monastery

Larus armenicus stamp

An illustration of Armenian gulls on a 2003 Armenian stamp

Armenian Gull Juvenile in flight, Sevan lake

Juvenile of Armenian gull in flight, flying over Lake Sevan

Armenian Gull in flight at Sevan lake, March 2008

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2015). "Larus armenicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Armenian Gull". Avibase.
  3. ^ Gulls of North America, Europe, and Asia by Klaus Malling Olsen & Hans Larsson. Princeton University Press (2004). ISBN 978-0691119977.

Bibliography

  • Alan Harris, Hadoram Shirihai & David Christie (1996) The Macmillan Birder's Guide to European and Middle Eastern Birds, Macmillan, London.
  • D.W. Snow & C.M. Perrins (1998) The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Concise Edition (Vol. 1), Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • M.S. Adamian & D. Klem, Jr. (1997) A Field Guide to Birds of Armenia, Armenian Gull. American University of Armenia, ISBN 0-9657429-1-1

External links

Andean gull

The Andean gull (Chroicocephalus serranus) is a species of gull in the family Laridae. As is the case with many gulls, it has traditionally been placed in the genus Larus.

It is found in the Andes in mountainous regions of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. It is unusual for a gull in that it breeds inland in mountain areas. It may be variously found around rivers, freshwater lakes, saline marshes, and pastureland.

Brown-hooded gull

The brown-hooded gull (Chroicocephalus maculipennis) is a species of gull found in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the Falkland Islands, and Uruguay. Its specific epithet, maculipennis, means 'spotted wings' (macula + penna). It is a white bird with a brown head and red beak and feet.

Chroicocephalus

Chroicocephalus is a genus of medium to relatively small gulls which were included in the genus Larus until recently. Some authorities also include the Saunders's gull in Chroicocephalus. The genus name Chroicocephalus is from Ancient Greek khroizo, "to colour", and kephale, "head".Representatives of this genus are found in regions/subregions all over the world, each species usually being confined to a region.

European herring gull

The European herring gull (Larus argentatus) is a large gull (up to 26 in (66 cm) long). One of the best known of all gulls along the shores of western Europe, it was once abundant. It breeds across Northern Europe, Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic states. Some European herring gulls, especially those resident in colder areas, migrate further south in winter, but many are permanent residents, e.g. in Ireland, Britain, Iceland, or on the North Sea shores. European herring gulls have a varied diet, including fish, crustaceans and dead animals as well as some plants.

While herring gull numbers appear to have been harmed in recent years, possibly by fish population declines and competition, they have proved able to survive in human-adapted areas and can often be seen in towns acting as scavengers.

Franklin's gull

The Franklin's gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan) is a small (length 12.6–14.2 in, 32–36 cm) gull. The genus name Leucophaeus is from Ancient Greek leukos, "white", and phaios, "dusky". The specific pipixcan is a Nahuatl name for a type of gull.

Gegharkunik Province

Gegharkunik (Armenian: Գեղարքունիք, Armenian pronunciation: [ɡɛʁɑɾkʰuˈnikʰ] (listen)), is a province (marz) of Armenia. Its capital and largest city is the town of Gavar.

Gegharkunik Province is located at the eastern part of Armenia, bordering Azerbaijan and the Shahumyan Region of de facto Republic of Artsakh. With an area of 5,348 km2 (2,065 sq mi), Gegharkunik is the largest province in Armenia. However, approximately 1,278 km2 (493 sq mi) of its territory is covered by Lake Sevan, the largest lake in Transcaucasia and a major tourist attraction of the region.

The Yerevan-Sevan-Dilijan republican highway runs through the province.

Herring gull

Herring gull is a common name for several birds in the genus Larus and may refer to:

European herring gull (Larus argentatus)

American herring gull (Larus smithsonianus)

Caspian gull (Larus cachinnans)

Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis)

East Siberian gull (Larus vegae)

Armenian gull (Larus armenicus)Other large gulls in Larus are similar to herring gulls.

Huahine gull

The Huahine gull (Chroicocephalus utunui), also known as the Society Islands gull, is an extinct bird, a species of gull of which subfossil bones were found at the Fa'ahia archeological site on Huahine, in the Society Islands of French Polynesia.

The site is an early Polynesian occupation site dating to between 700 CE and 1200 CE, containing, as well as anthropogenic material, the remains of many species of birds now either globally or locally extinct, that were killed for their flesh, bones or feathers. The gull was described (as Larus utunui) from 12 bones from two individual birds. Osteological similarities suggest that the nearest living relative of the Huahine gull is the silver gull (C. novaehollandiae), the nearest extant populations of which are in New Zealand, 3,800 km south-west of Huahine.

Ichthyaetus

Ichthyaetus is a genus of gulls. The genus name is from Ancient Greek ikhthus, "fish", and aetos, "eagle". They were previously included in the genus Larus.

Larus

Larus is a large genus of gulls with worldwide distribution (by far the greatest species diversity is in the Northern Hemisphere). The genus name is from Ancient Greek laros (λάῥος) or Latin Larus which appears to have referred to a gull or other large seabird.Many of its species are abundant and well-known birds in their ranges. Until about 2005–2007, most gulls were placed in this genus, but this arrangement is now known to be polyphyletic, leading to the resurrection of the genera Ichthyaetus, Chroicocephalus, Leucophaeus, and Hydrocoloeus (this last had been recognized more often than the other genera) for several species traditionally included in Larus.

They are in general medium to large birds, typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet.

The taxonomy of the large gulls in the herring and lesser black-backed complex is very complicated, different authorities recognising between two and eight species.

Leucophaeus

Leucophaeus is a small genus of medium-sized New World gulls, most of which are dark in plumage, usually with white crescents above and below the eyes. They were placed in the genus Larus until recently. The genus name Leucophaeus is from Ancient Greek leukos, "white", and phaios, "dusky".

Mediterranean gull

The Mediterranean gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) is a small gull. The scientific name is from Ancient Greek. The genus Ichthyaetus is from ikhthus, "fish", and aetos, "eagle", and the specific melanocephalus is from melas, "black", and -kephalos "-headed".This gull breeds almost entirely in the Western Palearctic, mainly in the south east, especially around the Black Sea, and in central Turkey. There are colonies elsewhere in southern Europe, and this species has undergone a dramatic range expansion in recent decades. As is the case with many gulls, it has traditionally been placed in the genus Larus.

Pacific gull

The Pacific gull (Larus pacificus) is a very large gull, native to the coasts of Australia. It is moderately common between Carnarvon in the west, and Sydney in the east, although it has become scarce in some parts of the south-east, as a result of competition from the kelp gull, which has "self-introduced" since the 1940s.

Much larger than the ubiquitous silver gull, and nowhere near as common, Pacific gulls are usually seen alone or in pairs, loafing around the shoreline, steadily patrolling high above the edge of the water, or (sometimes) zooming high on the breeze to drop a shellfish or sea urchin onto rocks.

Relict gull

The relict gull or Central Asian gull (Ichthyaetus relictus) is a medium-sized gull. It was believed to be an eastern race of the Mediterranean gull until 1971 and was traditionally placed in the genus Larus.

Ring-billed gull

The ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) is a medium-sized gull. The genus name is from Latin Larus which appears to have referred to a gull or other large seabird. The specific delawarensis refers to the Delaware River.

Slender-billed gull

The slender-billed gull (Chroicocephalus genei) is a mid-sized gull which breeds very locally around the Mediterranean and the north of the western Indian Ocean (e.g. Pakistan) on islands and coastal lagoons. Most of the population is somewhat migratory, wintering further south to north Africa and India, and a few birds have wandered to western Europe. A stray individual was reportedly seen on Antigua, April 24, 1976 (AOU, 2000).

The genus name Chroicocephalus is from Ancient Greek khroizo, "to colour", and kephale, "head". The specific genei commemorates Italian naturalist Giuseppe Gené.

Wildlife of Armenia

The wildlife of Armenia includes wild boars, porcupines, various lizards, snakes and numerous species of birds. Endangered species living in Armenia are the Caucasian bear, Caucasian bearded goat, the Armenian mouflon (sheep) and the leopard.

Yellow-footed gull

The yellow-footed gull (Larus livens) is a large gull, closely related to the western gull and thought to be a subspecies until the 1960s. It is endemic to the Gulf of California.

Yellow-legged gull

The yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis), sometimes referred to as western yellow-legged gull (to distinguish it from eastern populations of yellow-legged large white-headed gulls), is a large gull of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, which has only recently achieved wide recognition as a distinct species. It was formerly treated as a subspecies of either the Caspian gull L. cachinnans, or more broadly as a subspecies of the herring gull L. argentatus.

The genus name is from Latin Larus which appears to have referred to a gull or other large seabird, and the species name honours the German zoologist Karl Michahelles.

Gulls (family: Laridae)
Genus
Larus
Ichthyaetus
Leucophaeus
Chroicocephalus
Saundersilarus
Hydrocoloeus
Rhodostethia
Rissa
Pagophila
Xema
Creagrus

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