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Lesser Black-backed Gull

An occasional winter visitor, much the same as a herring gull and smaller,less common and less black that the greater black-backed gull

Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

Amongst the more common gulls we have all year round here in Dorset (great black-backed, herring and black-headed) we get a number of other visitors from the family. The lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus) is not an uncommon species in winter around our shores, and it is always worth having a closer look at any gull with a dark back to see if it is 'lesser' rather than 'greater'.

As you might expect, the lesser black-backed gull is smaller than the greater and the lesser's back is less black than the greater's

The lesser black-backed gull is a very close relative of the herring gull, it is the same size, has similar legs and beak (including the red patch) and in many ways is just a herring gull with a dark back. Here in the south of England the herring gull is much more common but as you head north so the lesser black-backed gull takes over.


 

Common Name Lesser Black-backed Gull
Scientific Name Larus fuscus
Species Group Birds Gulls Skuas and Terns
Status Occasional
Interest Level
2
Visabile
  • 01 - January
  • 02 - February
  • 03 - March
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
  • 11 - November
  • 12 - December
Look for

A herring gull with a dark back

Identification Notes
  • The lesser black-backed gull is a close relative of the herring gull and they are very alike apart from the much darkerbark on the lesser black-backed
  • The lesser is smaller than the greater and has a paler, less intense black colouring
  • Not particularly common in Dorset and usually only seen in winter around our shores
Primary Habitat
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Birds Gulls Skuas and Terns