1495. Larus cachinnans.
The Yellow-legged Herring-Gull.
Larus cachinnans, Pallas, Zoogr. Posso-Asiat. ii, p. 318 (1811) ; Saunders, P. Z. S. 1878, p. 169; Hume, Cat. no. 978 bis ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 423 : Saunders, Cat. B. M. xxv, p. 266. Larus argentatus, apud Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 299; Hume, S. F. i, p. 270; ii, p. 50; vii, p. 463; Blanf. Eastern Persia, p. 290.
This species only differs from L. affinis in having the mantle in adults much paler, light bluish grey instead of slate-grey. Young birds are absolutely undistinguishable. The soft parts and the dimensions are similar. The present species is merely a climatic or geographical race of the Common Herring-Gull, L. argentatus, distinguished by slight differences in the colours of the feet and bill, and, it is said, by the mantle being a shade darker. The eastern Asiatic bird L. vegae is another closely allied race.
Distribution. L. cachinnans inhabits Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and South-western Asia, ranging in winter as far east as the head of the Bay of Bengal. It is common at that season about some of the large jheels of Northern India, and is found in Kashmir, whilst it abounds on the coast of Baluchistan and Sind. The habits are precisely the same as those of L. affinis, except that the present species occurs inland in winter.