nominate Lesser Black-backed Gull (L. f. fuscus)

(last update: 20-1-2010)

Amir Ben Dov (Israel)
Hannu Koskinen (Finland)
Mars Muusse (the Netherlands)

fuscus rings

fuscus 1cy July
fuscus 1cy Aug
fuscus 1cy Sept
fuscus 1cy Oct
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fuscus 2cy Jan
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fuscus 4cy Jan
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fuscus ad Jan
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fuscus unringed Aug
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(2 images) Larus fuscus fuscus 4cy J868 October 30 2009, Ashdod, Israel. Pictures Amir Ben Dov.

J868 was ringed in northern Norway, as pullus in a mixed colony. At the time of ringing, the subspecies was not known, but now this individual turned up in Israel, it is most probably nominate Larus fuscus fuscus. The pullus (sex unknown) was ringed on July 28 2006 at Heimlaukøya - Lemmingsvær, Tranøy, Troms, Norway (69°01'36"N 016°52'35"E) .

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.
Morten Helberg, Geir Systad, Ingve Birkeland, Nils Lorentzen & Jan Bustnes published an article about this research in Ardea 97, 2009, titled: Migration patterns of adult and juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus from northern Norway. The complete PDF can be found HERE.

A (cold) dark grey looking adult, lacking the warm brown mohogany hue which may be present on fuscus when wing coverts and scapulars are older. Slender bird with pointed long wings when resting, but be aware of missing central primaries now the complete moult is in progress.
Primary moult stage not described in the field, but central primaries obviously missing, probably P7-P10 old. Normal moult gap would be P4 fully grown.
Moult strategy for the wing coverts hard to fully determine, but probably not a common sequence as illustarted by most birds following the complete moult. Here, greater coverts seem to be replaced ina rather 'jumpy' random sequence, with new fresh feather between direct adjacent old worn feathers. E.g.: greater coverts 1-3 look old, gc4 is fresh and gc5 is worn again. Inner median coverts are missing, outer median coverts fresh, central median coverts still old.
Sometimes adult fuscus initiate the complete moult already on the breeding grounds, arrest this moult for migration and than continues on the wintering grounds, leaving different states of wear in the feathers. This individual may be a representative of this strategy.

Ill-defined head streaking in the hind neck and a black band on the bill, suggest not a fully mature bird. Red gonydeal spot complete obscured by black band.