Thursday, 11 December 2014

Vega Gull (Larus vegae)

OTHER NAMES: East Siberian Gull, East Siberian Herring Gull
Latin Etymology: Larus ("gull") vegae (after Swedish exploration vessel "Vega")
Two adult Vega Gull (Larus vegae) on the roof of Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan - November 2014

Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 1-1.5kg  /  Length: 55-67cm  /  Wingspan: 125-155cm
ABSENT FROM UK / IUCN Red List: Not Yet Evaluated

The Vega Gull is the East Asian equivalent of the Herring Gull, and was until fairly recently considered to be a subspecies of that group.  Unlike the Herring Gull in the UK however, in Japan it is primarily a Winter visitor.  However, it seems to generally be more closely tied to water at this point, generally being found along rivers and coasts.   In the north of the country it seems to be displaced as the most common large gull species by the Slaty Backed Gull.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
Subspecies: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Japanese背グローかもめ  /  Seguro-kamome ("Black-backed Gull")
Widespread Winter Migrant
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Small numbers seen at Kamakura and Tsukiji Fish Market

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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