Gulls (Laridae)

Mew Gull (Larus canus) - HBW 3, p. 603

French: Goéland cendré German: Sturmmöwe Spanish: Gaviota Cana
Other common names: Common Gull (Eurasia); Short-billed Gull (brachyrhynchus)

Taxonomy: Larus canus Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Sometimes considered to form a superspecies with L. delawarensis, but morphometric analysis links it instead with L. melanocephalus. L. glaucus is a synonym. Race kamtschatschensis sometimes treated as a separate species, but interbreeds with heinei in Siberia. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • canus Linnaeus, 1758 - Iceland and British Is E to White Sea; winters from Europe to N Africa and Persian Gulf.
  • heinei Homeyer, 1853 - Russia, from Kanin Peninsula and Moscow area E to NC Siberia (R Lena); winters in SE Europe and at Black and Caspian Seas.
  • kamtschatschensis (Bonaparte, 1857) - NE Siberia; winters SE Asia.
  • brachyrhynchus Richardson, 1831 - N Alaska and N Mackenzie S to S British Columbia and N Saskatchewan; winters S to California.