Larus argentatus
The first years in the life of a Finnish
Herring Gull, Gråtrut, Sølvmåge


Herring Gull
Larus argentatus

 at the harbour of Hirtshals.

Herring Gull ringed July 2001, by Hannu Nystrøm in Tampere Finland at the nest as a downy young, reported (and photographed) in Hirshals, Denmark, seven month and 14. days later on February 12. 2002, again same place February 2004 and finally this Saturday October 16. 2004.

Its not that often You can actually study the developing plumage of any Gull.
But take a good look at these pictures and check out the coloured ring.
C020S. It is the same bird. This is the same individual Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) and, for that matter with three years difference, caught standing on almost the same spot, namely at a concrete fence at the Hirtshals Harbour on the north western coast of peninsula Jutland.
The same spot within a kilometre, but with a time span of almost three years between the first pictures taken, and the last one, showing he subadult bird. Three years between the pic, showing the first winter bird on February 2002, seven months and two weeks after it was ringed as a downy young, at the nest, in Tampere Finland, and the last one recaptured on a rainy Saturday October the 16. 2004 again in Hirtshals. The bird returning, after its yearly trip back to Finland to spend what will be its third winter in
this Danish industrial fishing hot spot situated on the north-western coast of peninsula Jutland.

Compare the birds developing carriage over the years.

From the first winter youngster with the attitude almost of a puppy, never the less having just done the distance of the 893 kilometres from Finland to Denmark, and into the fourth winter bird, from Saturday October 16 2004 showing the proud and more experienced attitude of a fully adult Gull, with only small black markings on the bill to give away that this is in fact still a young guy with a lot to learn.

Hirtshals Denmark February 12. 2002

Tampere Finland May 31. 2003  Photo: Annika Forsten

Hirtshals Denmark Febrary 9. 2004

Hirtshals Denmark October 16. 2004

Hirtshals Denmark October 16. 2004


The University of Helsinki Finland


Herring Gull Larus argentatus
Wing 230 mm
Age Young out of the nest
Ringing date 28.06.2001
Ringing place Tampere Häme Finland
Status Healthy, wild bird
September..2. untill October 21. 2001 Tampere Finland

January .16. 2002 Hirtshals Jutland Denmark

October..10 2002 Hanstholm Jutland Denmark

November..27 2002. untill March 2 2003 Hirtshals Jutland denmark

May...24. untill September.25. 2003 Tampere Finland

October.26. untill December 12. 2003 Jutland Denmark

February..2. untill March 3. 2004 Jutland Denmark

July 10. 2004 Tampere Finland

October 16. 2004 Hirtshals Jutland Denmark


Elapsed time 3 years, 3 month and 18. days

Distance 894 km direction WSW from ringing place