LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL(Larus fuscus)
DESCRIPTION: The Lesser Black-backed Gull has a white head and under parts in the breeding adults. The back and wings are black. In the winter the head and neck are streaked with grey. Juveniles have a black bill, white under parts streaked with brown, and brown back and wings with the feathers white-lined in a scaly fashion. The legs are yellow. In spite of its name it is still a fairly large gull, with a length of around 60 cm (24 inches).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Larus-fuscus
NAME: The English name ‘Gull’ would have its origins in Old Celtic ‘Gullan’ and other languages, including Latin ‘gula’ for throat. As per Choate this would be related to the gull’s ‘indiscriminate’ scavenging habits, its ‘willingness to swallow almost anything’ (think ‘gullible’). The Latin genus name ‘Larus’ means ‘gull’, and the Latin species name ‘fuscus’ means ‘black’.
HABITAT: Mainly along the coast, also urban areas such as garbage dumps.
DIET: Omnivorous, i.e. fish, birds, carrion and garbage. Will steal food from other birds.
NESTING: Nests along the coasts or lakes in colonies, sometimes in urban environments. The nest is placed on the ground. About three green eggs are laid, which are incubated by both parents. They also both feed the chicks.
DISTRIBUTION: The breeding range of this gull covers northern Europe, where it nests in colonies and is often seen with herring gulls. Its wintering grounds are along the coasts of the rest of Europe, Africa, India and China. It can be also be found along the coasts of North America in the winter. Some individuals have even been observed on Hawaii.
CONSERVATION: This gull is currently not considered a species at risk, and its population appears to be increasing both in numbers and range.
NOTES: The lesser black-backed gull is more closely related to the Herring Gull than the Great Black-backed Gull in spite of its name, but can be confused with the latter. One way to distinguish the species is the size (smaller for the lesser black-backed gull), also the legs are yellow instead of pink for the great black-backed gull, and finally the yellow bill of the lesser black-backed gull is smaller relative to the head size (see photo below).
SIMILAR SPECIES: Great black-backed gull
REFERENCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesser_black-backed_gull
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Lesser_Black-backed_Gull/lifehistory
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/lesser-black-backed-gull
http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-lesser-black-backed-gull.html
https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/543/overview/Lesser_Black-backed_Gull.aspx

Lesser black-backed gull - Brander's pond, PEI - May 2017 - by Marie Smith
Lesser black-backed gull – Brander’s pond, PEI – May 2017 – by Marie Smith

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