Fine Art

Armenian gull near Sevanavank, side view

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Ordo: Charadriiformes
Subordo: Lari

Familia: Laridae
Subfamilia: Larinae
Genus: Larus
Species: Larus armenicus

Larus armenicus Buturlin, 1934

Larus taimyrensis armenicus (protonym)


Ibis 76 (1): 171.

Vernacular names
العربية: نورس أرميني
čeština: Racek arménský
English: Armenian Gull
Esperanto: Armena mevo
suomi: Armenianlokki
français: Goéland d'Arménie
հայերեն: Որոր հայկական
italiano: Gabbiano d'Armenia
русский: Армянская чайка
svenska: Armenisk trut
Türkçe: Doğu martısı

The Armenian gull (Larus armenicus) is a large gull found in the Caucasus and the Middle East. It was formerly classified as a subspecies of the European herring gull (L. argentatus), but is now generally considered to be a separate species, although BirdLife International lumps it with the yellow-legged gull (L. michahellis).

The Armenian gull is a fairly large gull species, though it is on average the smallest of the "herring gull" complex. It can range from 52 to 62 cm (20 to 24 in), from 120 to 145 cm (47 to 57 in) across the wings, and weighs from 600 to 960 g (1.32 to 2.12 lb). Among standard measurements, its wing chord is 38.5 to 45.8 cm (15.2 to 18.0 in), its bill is 4.1 to 5.6 cm (1.6 to 2.2 in) and its tarsus is 5.7 to 6.4 cm (2.2 to 2.5 in).[3] They are superficially similar to yellow-legged gulls but are slightly smaller with a slightly darker grey back and dark eyes. The area of black on the wingtips is more extensive with smaller white spots. The bill is short with a distinctive black band just before the tip. First-winter birds are mainly brown. They have a whitish rump, pale inner primary feathers, and a narrow, sharply-defined black band on the tail. Although their ranges do not overlap, with its darkish mantle, both black and red near the tip of its bill and a dark eye, the Armenian gull bears a remarkable resemblance to the California gull (L. californicus) of North America.

Distribution and habitat

The Armenian gull nests beside mountain lakes in Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, and western Iran. The largest colonies are at Lake Sevan and Lake Arpi in Armenia. It is a partial migrant, with many birds wintering on the coasts of Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel. Smaller numbers reach Cyprus, Egypt, and the Persian Gulf.

The nest is a mound of vegetation built on the ground on an island or the lakeshore. Three eggs are laid, mainly in late April. The nesting colonies are very dense with nests close together and territorial conflicts are common.

at Lake Sevan

At Sevanavank monastery

An illustration of Armenian gulls on a 2003 Armenian stamp

Juvenile of Armenian gull in flight, flying over Lake Sevan
Armenian Gull in flight at Sevan lake, March 2008.jpg


BirdLife International (2021). "Larus armenicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2021: e.T22694357A154521947. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22694357A154521947.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
"Armenian Gull". Avibase.

Gulls of North America, Europe, and Asia by Klaus Malling Olsen & Hans Larsson. Princeton University Press (2004). ISBN 978-0691119977.


Alan Harris, Hadoram Shirihai & David Christie (1996) The Macmillan Birder's Guide to European and Middle Eastern Birds, Macmillan, London.
D.W. Snow & C.M. Perrins (1998) The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Concise Edition (Vol. 1), Oxford University Press, Oxford.
M.S. Adamian & D. Klem, Jr. (1997) A Field Guide to Birds of Armenia. American University of Armenia, ISBN 0-9657429-1-1

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