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!
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.
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