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

(last update: 19-1-2011)

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

sub-adult fuscus: June

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).

Deconstructing myths on large gulls and their impact on threatened sympatric waterbirds

BY: D. Oro, A. Martínez-Abraín

IN: Animal Conservation,. Volume 10, Issue 1, pages 117–126, February 2007

Abstract - FULL PDF

Owing to increasing population trends and facultative predatory habits, large gulls have been identified as significant agents of change in the alteration of many ecological communities. Often, they are perceived as negatively impacting the population trends of most sympatric waterbirds. Consequently, culling programs have been implemented to remove adults, chicks and eggs intensively. Here, we review the interactions recorded in the literature between the yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis and 10 sympatric waterbirds in the Mediterranean region, all threatened and classified as species of conservation concern. We also used 177 long-term population trends derived from previous studies to study the population dynamics of these species and the culling effort performed. We show that gulls negatively affected survival, fecundity, foraging ecology and nesting habitat availability for many species. However, the annual population growth rates of most sympatric waterbirds showed positive values, even at sites where culling has yet to be initiated and local yellow-legged gull populations are large and increasing. Our results suggest clearly that population increase has not been exclusive of yellow-legged gulls, especially at the regional level. Yet, growth rates of both yellow-legged gulls and sympatric waterbirds were positively associated. Strikingly, the population extinction rate was similar between colonies of yellow-legged gulls and those of sympatric species. Thus, evidence exists to state that the success of gull control programs is relatively low in the long term. We recommend that conservation agencies heed several basic principles of population and community ecology before initiating control, for instance that (1) yellow-legged gulls have bred historically with other bird species and have likely developed defensive mechanisms against this predator and (2) populations of large gulls are regulated by density-dependent mechanisms in both space and time. Incoming European environmental policies on fishing discards and rubbish management should control more naturally and efficiently the density of large gulls and the composition of seabird communities in the long term.

1cy fuscus in August, ringed in Finland. (81365 bytes)L. f. fuscus sub-ad CKN3 May-June 2009, Tampere, Finland. Images Petri Salo & Markku Kangasniemi.

Satellite tagged and ringed.

1cy fuscus in August, ringed in Finland. (81365 bytes)L. f. fuscus 4cy C08P June 05 2009, Tampere, Finland. Image Hannu Koskinen.
male with female in the background.
1cy fuscus in August, ringed in Finland. (81365 bytes)L. f. fuscus 4cy C88U June 06 2009, Tampere, Finland. Images Hannu Koskinen.
1cy fuscus in August, ringed in Finland. (81365 bytes)L. f. fuscus sub-adult June 24 2011, Ashdod, Israel. Picture: Amir Ben Dov.