Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

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  A Lesser Black-backed Gull on the Beach

Published: August 18, 2020
Tags: General Observations, lesser black-backed gull

Scanning the gulls at the beach is always a good idea; you just never know what might be sitting in the flock.  I'm not a larophile, or lover of gulls, to be sure - but I do enjoy trying to pick out something other than our usual Ring-billed, Herring, and Great Black-backed Gulls. Today, I was pleased to see a "new face" in the crowd, a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Not all that long ago, Lesser Black-backed Gulls were quite rare in Western New York.  This species of gull hails from Eurasia and it's only been in the last twenty years or so that they have become regular sightings in our area.  Usually, we find them in the winter months, but for a few years now, I've found them as early as mid-to-late August.

The Lesser Black-backed Gull is a smaller gull than a Herring Gull and larger than a Ring-billed Gull.  Two of the photos below show the size differences.  This was a first summer bird, meaning it's a youngster and this is its first summer.  I think it may be a post breeding dispersal bird, on its first journey away from home and somehow, he or she found its way to the southern shore of Lake Erie.  I looked for it again a couple of days later, but I didn't find it.  I guess it was a one or two day visit.

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Lesser Black-backed Gull, a rather handsome gull

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The larger Herring Gull is on the left and the smaller Lesser Black-backed Gull is on the right

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Note the 3 different species of gulls and their size differences. From left to right: Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Ring-billed Gulls

Reply from: Fellows on 9/2/2020 12:19 AM
 Surprisingly, I thought there are only one species of gull. I can able to distinguish these three types now, that's interesting. Thanks for sharing an exciting post.

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