Bill yellow: legs livid flesh-colour: tarsus two inches six lines: wings reaching very little beyond the tail: shafts of the primaries black: mantle (in the adult) bluish ash.
L. argentatus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 764. Herring Gull, Mont. Orn. Diet. & Supp. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. p. 207. Selb. Must. vol. ii. p. 504. pls. 96, & 96*.
Entire length twenty-three inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) two inches three lines, (from the gape) two inches nine lines; of the tarsus two inches six lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing seventeen inches three lines.
(Adult in winter). Crown, region of the eyes, occiput, nape and sides of the neck, white, with longitudinal streaks of pale brown on the shafts of the feathers: back, scapulars and wing-coverts, fine bluish ash: primaries dusky, passing into deep black towards their extrelarus.] aves natatores. 277 mities, all terminated by a large white spot; scapulars and secondaries edged and tipped with white: forehead, throat, and all the other under parts, as well as the tail, pure white: bill ochre-yellow; the angle of the lower mandible orange-red: orbits orange: irides pale yellow: legs livid flesh-colour. (Summer plumage). The whole head and neck pure white, without any brown streaks: the rest as in winter. (Young of the year). Head, neck, and all the under parts, ash-gray, spotted and variegated with light brown: upper parts brown and ash-colour, all the feathers edged with reddish: quills dusky brown, without any white at the tips: tail whitish at the base, becoming browner towards the extremity, the tips of the feathers reddish yellow: bill grayish black: irides and orbits brown: legs livid brown. In the second year, the colours are similar, but somewhat paler. After the second autumnal moult, the bluish ash begins to appear upon the back mottled with brown, and the irides get lighter, inclining to yellow. The following spring, the colour of the bill changes; the bluish ash extends further and assumes a purer tint; and the bar on the tail gradually disappears. At the age of three years, or after the third autumnal moult, the plumage is matured. (Egg). Light olive-brown, spotted with two shades of dark brown: long. diam. two inches six lines; trans, diam. one inch nine lines.
Common on all parts of the coast throughout the year. In the young or immature state, occasionally observed inland in the vicinity of rivers and fresh-water lakes. Breeds on rocky cliffs, constructing a nest of long dry grass. Eggs two or three in number. Feeds on fish, worms, and marine rejectamenta. Obs. The name of Wagel Gull has been applied indiscriminately to the young of this, and the two following species.