nominate Lesser Black-backed Gull (L. f. fuscus)
Amir Ben Dov (Israel)
Hannu Koskinen (Finland)
Mars Muusse (the Netherlands)
Larus fuscus fuscus 3cy male J304, July 15 2005, Horsvær, Nordland (65.19.09 N - 11.38.02 E), Norway. Picture: Morten Helberg.
J304, ringed as 3cy male on the nest, in 2005. Especially male birds may already turn up in the colony in their 3cy.
Harry Vercruijsse (1999), who did research in the Netherlands on Herring Gulls in the dunes, found the breeding attempts by such young birds not really successful in their first year back in the colony. Birds in 3cy may occupy a territory, but real breeding attempts often start the next year. Still, it may be a good strategy to return at such early age, to have advantage over other males regarding best breeding locations and feeding grounds. Similar results were found by Chabrzyk & Coulson (1976) on the Isle of May, SE Scotland.
Primary moult score: P1 growing, P2 missing. White tip on P4 large, while tip on P5 hardly visble. However, probably no arrested moult (no obvious fresh inner primaries replaced on the wintering grounds), as the wear and bleaching/brown tone of the feathers next to P4 is the same.
HJP Vercruijsse, Zilvermeeuwen uit de duinen van Schouwen, 1999. Publication ibn dlo, Tilburg, ISBN 9090131671.
More information about migration strategies in Norwegian fuscus and the ringing programme in the three northern counties of Norway: Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, can be found here: The summary for juveniles can be found in the fuscus 1cy October section, the summary for adults can be found in the fuscus adult October section.