nominate Lesser Black-backed Gull (L. fuscus)

(last update: 11-4-2006)


fuscus 1cy August

fuscus 1cy October

fuscus 2cy February

fuscus 2cy July

fuscus 2cy August

fuscus 3cy February

fuscus 3cy July

fuscus 3cy August

fuscus 4cy July

fuscus 4cy August

fuscus ad June

fuscus ad July

fuscus ad August

2cy fuscus: February

In general, juvenile 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.

03425.jpg (87134 bytes)Larus fuscus fuscus 2cy, February 27 & 28, Bahrain. A slow moulting fuscus.


Links to juvenile and 2cy fuscus on the web:

Harry J. Lehto:

Jari Peltomaki:

Risto Juvaste:

Tero Linjama:

Steve Hampton's Quizbird: juvenile fuscus:

Martin Reid's Gulls:

Howard King's gulls of Bahrain, maybe some are fuscus: