Skip to Content

Lesser Black-backed Gull Identification

Looking for ID Help?

Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds.

Try Merlin Bird ID

Adult Description

  • Medium to large gull.
  • Head and underparts white.
  • Back dark gray.
  • Wingtips black with some white spots.
  • Bill yellow with red spot near tip of lower mandible.
  • Legs yellow.

Immature Description

Juvenal Plumage: Dark dusky brown, with pale face and dark ear patch. Back dark with whitish tips to feathers. Wings neatly barred with dark and light. Rump pale. Broad dark band on tip of tail. Two dark bars across back of spread wing. Outer wing dark, with only slightly paler patch at base of "hand" (primaries). Bill black. Legs dull flesh.
First Winter (Basic I) Plumage: Like juvenile, but less distinct ear patch and back scaling.
Second Winter (Basic II): White face, chest, belly, and rump. Head with dusky streaks. Some dark gray feathers on back. Wingtips black. Tail whiter, with narrower black band. Legs may be tinged with yellow.
Third Winter (Basic III): Like adult, but with some streaks on lower body, brown speckles on inner wing, blacker wingtips, and a faint tail band.
Relative Size

Relative Sizebetween crow and goosebetween crow and goose
  • Both Sexes
    • Length: 20.5-25.2 in (52-64 cm)
    • Weight: 19.2-35.3 oz (545-1000 g)
    • Wingspan: 53.1-59.1 in (135-150 cm)

Need Bird ID Help? Try Merlin

Close Merlin