Living Bird Magazine
Lesser Black-backed GullLarus fuscus
- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Laridae
Common across Europe, the Lesser Black-backed Gull is an uncommon, but regular visitor to eastern North America. Its occurrence on this continent increased dramatically over the last third of the 20th century.More ID Info
- Gaviota Sombría (Spanish)
- Goéland brun (French)
- Cool Facts
- The Lesser Black-backed Gull is divided into several different subspecies that differ in the darkness of the back. Nearly all individuals that reach North America are of the graellsii subspecies that breeds in Iceland, Britain, and western Europe. It is the palest of the forms, with its back being much lighter than the black wingtips.
- At a Lesser Black-backed Gull breeding colony, immatures, nonbreeding adults, and failed and off-duty breeders form "clubs" near the colony, where they spend time "loafing," resting, and preening. In colonies where other gull species are mixed in, clubs tend to be composed of one species only.
- The oldest recorded Lesser Black-backed Gull was a male, and at least 9 years, 3 months old when he was observed in the wild in South Carolina in 2014, and identified by his band. He had been banded in Maine in 2008.