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Lesser vs Great Black Backed Gulls

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Old Sunday 29th April 2018, 01:17   #1
katastrofa
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Lesser vs Great Black Backed Gulls

I'm seeing black-backed gulls quite often in London now. How can I tell if they're lesser black-backed, or great black-backed gulls? Is the size the only difference?
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Old Sunday 29th April 2018, 10:49   #2
Jonno52
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Size certainly isn't the only difference. In the first instance, I suggest having a look at this BTO video (though there's more that could be said on the subject). Then perhaps investing in the Collins Bird Guide (there are Collins guides with rather similar names, the one you want is by Svensson, Mullarney & Zetterstrom).

In London, you're more likely to see LBBG rather than GBBG.

Hope this helps.
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Old Sunday 29th April 2018, 11:35   #3
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Thanks, very instructive!
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Old Wednesday 2nd May 2018, 22:14   #4
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Thanks for the excellent video link Jonno. Lesser black-backs are indeed quite commonly seen throughout the city and I see greater black-backs fairly regularly on a stretch of the Thames (where these two snapshots were taken) while watching peregrines. The sheer size, especially when seen in company with other gulls, and very apparent bulk, broad wings, and heavy bill, really stand out. Lesser black-backs are no bigger than herring gulls - often seeming to be a little smaller and slimmer.
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Old Friday 11th May 2018, 09:11   #5
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Leg colour helps a lot to confirm identification - pink for GBB, yellow for LBB
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