Start of 1st Cycle (Juvenile or Fledgling)


Herring Gull 55C in juvenile plumage
Gull: 55C Date photographed: 9/17/2014 Age: About 3 1/2 months

Hatchling gulls take about six weeks to grow to full size, develop their first full set of feathers, and learn to fly. This first set of feathers (the "juvenile plumage") is then fully replaced during the first plumage cycle. This photo shows gull 55C about 3 1/2 months after hatching, 2 months after fledging. Its scaly tan-and-brown appearance is typical of the juvenile plumage. Other features to note are the dark bill and all-dark eye.