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Gull ID, Lesser Black-backed Gull (1 Viewer)


New member
United States
The photos were taken on January 6th 2021. I used IBirdPro and Merlin Photo ID and both Apps identified the gull in the photos as a Lesser Black-backed Gull. I also referred to Seabirds by Peter Harrison and Gulls Simplified by Dunne and Karlson. Although, the LBBG seems to be a match, I'm not certain because it is an immature bird (1.5 years old?). This species would be considered rare on the Oregon coast, therefore I would like it confirmed by others with the expertise to do so. So any info you could provide to confirm or dismiss the identification would be appreciated. Thank you for your time : )


Well-known member
I'm not the right one to comment on gull taxa (not sure I believe in quite a few of them anyway): but this would be a really hefty bill for lesser black-backed I think. I'm sure Lou (who does) can expand on the id criteria should you have questions.

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
United States
They are indeed great photos. I'm going to step in here to wish you a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)

We're glad you found us and please join in wherever you like ;)

lou salomon

the birdonist
among others, two things pop up right from the beginning which make the ID as LBBG quite impossible: structure (big, blocky head, strong bill with a 'hanging' and bulbous tip) and the classic 'secondary skirt' shown by pacific large gull taxa (western, glaucous-winged and slaty-backed): secondaries stick out below greater coverts and continue in an unbroken, broad band into tertials. WEGU also has a different plumage in second winter: apart from the rather unstreaked head and solid black tail feathers, secondaries have broad white terminal band (broad white tips in second generation secondaries) and especially tertials look unpatterned dark with very broad white tips. this is how a more or less typical 2nd winter LBBG would look at the same time of year: http://www.gull-research.org/lbbg/delfin1/UNH Roja.jpg

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