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

(last update: 23-11-2013)

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
fuscus 1cy Nov
fuscus 1cy Dec

fuscus 2cy Jan
fuscus 2cy Feb
fuscus 2cy March
fuscus 2cy April
fuscus 2cy May
fuscus 2cy June
fuscus 2cy July
fuscus 2cy Aug
fuscus 2cy Sept
fuscus 2cy Oct
fuscus 2cy Nov

fuscus 2cy Dec

fuscus 3cy Jan
fuscus 3cy Feb
fuscus 3cy March
fuscus 3cy April
fuscus 3cy May
fuscus 3cy June
fuscus 3cy July
fuscus 3cy August

fuscus 3cy Sept

fuscus 3cy October
fuscus 3cy Nov
fuscus 3cy Dec

fuscus 4cy Jan
fuscus 4cy Feb
fuscus 4cy March
fuscus 4cy April
fuscus 4cy May
fuscus 4cy June
fuscus 4cy July
fuscus 4cy Aug
fuscus 4cy Sept

fuscus 4cy Oct
fuscus 4cy Nov
fuscus 4cy Dec

fuscus ad Jan
fuscus ad Feb
fuscus ad March
fuscus ad April
fuscus ad May
fuscus ad June
fuscus ad July
fuscus ad Aug
fuscus unringed Aug
fuscus ad Sept
fuscus ad Oct
fuscus ad Nov
fuscus ad Dec

2cy fuscus: November

In general, fuscus is described as a small Lesser Black-backed Gull (LBBG). Compared to graellsii and intermedius it has more contrast in upper-parts and wing-coverts. Dark patterns look darker and pale patterns look almost white, resulting in an "over-exposed" juvenile bird. This character, combined with the elongated wing, slender bill, small size of the bird and the peaked crown with the highest point behind the eye should give some clues to distinguish juvenile fuscus from other LBBG juveniles (graellsii & intermedius).

Before departure to wintering grounds, some juvenile fuscus moult mantle and scapulars to second generation feathers. Migration may start early, with juvenile birds arriving in Africa by late September, but most arrive in October, in some cases in complete juvenile plumage. Normally a rapid moult starts quickly after arrival: scapulars, coverts, secondaries and primaries may be included in the post-juvenile moult. By April, some 2cy birds migrate north to the breeding areas. On arrival, the wing may look anything from only a few new primaries moulted to completely 2nd generation primaries. Normally, moult is arrested during migration and a clear division is visible between old juvenile and fresh 2nd generation primaries.


1cy fuscus in August, ringed in Finland. (81365 bytes)L. f. ssp? 2cy J4TV November 23 2012, Ashdod, Israel. Picture: Amir Ben Dov. Bird from N Norway in active moult. Most probably ssp intermedius, or ofspring from pale and dark-mantled mixed pair. Recorded as 2CY and 3CY: November 2012, September-October 2013, Ashdod, Israel.