Thursday, 11 December 2014

Vega Gull (Larus vegae)

Two adult Vega Gull (Larus vegae) on the roof of Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan - November 2014

Local Name (Japan) - Seguro-kamome (背グローかもめ) "Black-backed Gull"
OTHER NAMES: East Siberian Gull, East Siberian Herring Gull
Weight: 1-1.5kg
Length: 55-67cm
Wingspan: 125-155cm
NO UK STATUS / 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

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Widespread Winter Migrant
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Small numbers seen at Kamakura and Tsukiji Fish Market

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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