Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lesser Black-backed Gull (WBW)

1. lesser n Greater-kab Lesser and Greater Black-backed Gulls on South Beach in Chatham, MA

Last month when I was out at south Beach in Chatham, MA with Jeff and Dawn Fine and Matt Malin we came across a small flock of gulls. It was a mixed flock with Herring and Greater Black-backed gulls and everyone was just walking by them except me. I started looking at their legs. Why? Because I know that Lesser Black-backed gulls have yellow and not pink legs and I wanted to see if I could find one. Since I am new to this whole shorebird thing, I know I am not very good at identifying those species, yet! But telling yellow legs from pink legs is fairly easy and sure enough, my scan of the flock paid off! I was so proud of myself because it was basically the only bird I identified before anyone else that day!

2. Lesser n greatr GBBG-kab Lesser Black-backed Gull (left) Greater Black-backed Gull (right)

In this photo you can easily see the size difference. The Lesser  is also more charcoal gray and not quite so dark black, but the legs are the giveaway to me. Not only are they yellow, they are also shorter on the Lesser. I saw my first Lesser Black-backed gull when I was down in Alabama birding with Matt Morrow in March of 2010. The gull was far out on a pier laying down and I only know it was a Lesser because he told me so, but this one I knew for sure.

3. gulls on south Beach-kab Herring, Lesser Black-backed, and Greater Black-backed Gulls 9-13-11.

 

WBW

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18 comments:

  1. Thanks Kathie! What an easy way to id these gulls. Great shots and post.

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  2. Hi Kathie

    Great information on how to distinguish the two species I always forget which field marks to look at when it comes to gulls.

    Regards
    Guy

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  3. Great shots of some look alikes. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  4. Eileen, thanks, You are always so nice!

    guy, they are challenging but I am slowly learning!

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  5. Great photos and that is a very good way to ID these gulls.

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  6. Thanks Kathiesbirds for the photos and great advice!!!

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  7. Mick and jean, thank you for visiting my blog!

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  8. Great post Kathie! Thanks for the tip on the Black-backed Gulls!

    I am terrible at identifying gulls and not much better at shorebirds. I bet you had a great time with Jeff and Dawn, great folks they are.

    I will be heading over to the Pacific Coast the weekend after next and expect to get several lifers and gain some knowledge of the great variety of birds on the coast. It will be my first pelagic trip! Wish me luck ;-)

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  9. Excellent description of this interesting bird Kathie. I hope I get to use this knowledge one day. Your pictures just keep getting better and better. They are a pleasure!

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  10. Larry, after 3 years in the deserts of Arizona I am still learning my gulls and shorebirds--a daunting task! so I will wish you luck and lots of birds and someone who knows how to identify what you are looking at!

    Springman, I hope you get to use it too! Thanks for stopping by! I hope all is well at the Firehouse.

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  11. Is this when you were wearing your "Stealth' poncho Kathie.{:)

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  12. It's great to see the birds side-by-side to see the differences.

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  13. Hi Kathie lovely images and info..
    Gull ID is a science all of it's own.

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  14. Love the Greater Black-backs they are such behemouths. There ae always a lot where my parents live in Cornwall. Great job on catching the Lesser Black-back.

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  15. Nice shots of the Gulls and great ID tip!

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  16. Hey Kathie~that was a great find by you. Great shots too.

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Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.