Common Gull hybrid

X Mediterranean Gull ?

by Martin G and Nigel Lound

Nigel writes:

“The attached gull was on the beach on 30th July 2012 in the evening between Skegness and Gibraltar Point. Surely has to be a Common/Mediterranean Gull hybrid? There seems to be little info anywhere (books or internet) on such hybrids and the little info I have gleaned on such hybrids always refer to “bill similar to Med Gull, dull red with black subterminal ring and yellow tip”. This is  nothing like the Common Gull bill and legs shown by this bird. I didn’t manage any flight shots. It was a bit of a loner, only loosely associating with Common Gulls and Sandwich Tern, spending much time asleep. Whatever, it is a stunning looking gull.”

It would be interesting to know if and how the sex of the parents (e.g. was the presumed Common Gull parent, male or female) affects the appearance of a bird like this.

presumed hybrid on left with Black-headed Gulls in background and Common Gull in (right) foreground.

presumed hybrid Common Gull X Mediterranean Gull, N. of Gibraltar Pt, Lincolnshire, 30th July 2012 by Nigel Lound

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About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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7 Responses to Common Gull hybrid

  1. An interesting bird, the hood looks too short at the nape for a Mediterranean Gull and more like a Black-headed Gull and yet it is black and not brown.. I am not sure how the hood would be affected by the Common X Mediterranean Gull influence? Knowing how ducks and geese can go all over the place with their hybrids what do we know about gull hybrids? Oh yes the hood might be longer if it’s head was stretched up….. Should we think about an American parent?

  2. François Doyen says:

    Here are pictures of an hybrid black-headed x common gull in Belgium : http://observations.be/soort/photos/87973# And if he’s still alive he’s at least 22 yo!

  3. Could it not just be a Med Gull showing Xanthochroism rather than a hybrid?

  4. Kari Haataja says:

    Similar looking bird like in Belgium was a year ago in Espoo, Finland, for a few days at the end of May. Link below to the photo
    http://www.bongariliitto.fi/news!/suomi
    Roll the link downwards and you can find the photo. It was assumed to be a hybrid Black-headed and Mediterranean Gull.

  5. Rich B says:

    Neil – the primary pattern would rule out a pure Mediterranean Gull of any age. Smart looking beast.

  6. Tristan Reid says:

    These small gull hybrids are fascinating. There was a hybrid gull at Dracote Water (I think) a few years back that was assumed to be a Common x Med Gull. It looked remarkably similar to a Franklin’s Gull!

  7. mark welfare says:

    agree with many f the above. primary pattern such as we can see looks like back headed as does the shape of the hood. eye-lids perhaps not quite as white as med gull. beak however has a qhite thick look and marked gonys for common gull or black headed. so maybe some med in there after all. would have been nice to get a feather.

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