- 20.5–25.2 in
- 53.1–59.1 in
- 19.2–35.3 oz
- 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.
Breeds on tundra, along coasts, and on islands in lakes and larger rivers. Winters along coastal regions, bays, estuaries, along lakes and rivers, and at garbage dumps.
Fish, marine invertebrates, insects, birds, eggs, carrion, garbage.
- Clutch Size
- 1–4 eggs
- Egg Description
- Olive with markings variable or lacking.
- Condition at Hatching
- Chicks semiprecocial at hatching; may leave nest cup in several days. Covered in cryptically colored down.
Depression in fairly substantial mound of seaweed, grasses, other vegetation, and general debris, lined with finer material; less often shallow scrape with sparse lining. Placed on ground. Nests in colonies.
Captures prey while walking or swimming, dips food from surface of water. Steals food from other birds.
There is little information on Lesser Black-backed Gull population numbers and trends. The species rates a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds Watch List. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. Lesser Black-backed Gull appear to be expanding both their wintering and breeding ranges.
- American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. Check-list of North American Birds, 7th ed. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
- Cramp, S., et. al. 1998. The Complete Birds of the Western Palearctic on CD-ROM. Oxford University Press.
- Kushlan, J.A., et al. 2002. Waterbird conservation for the Americas: the North American Waterbird Conservation Plan, version 1. Waterbird Conservation for the Americas. Washington, DC.
- North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2016. The State of North
America’s Birds 2016. Environment and Climate Change Canada: Ottawa, Ontario.
- USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2016. Longevity records of North American Birds.