Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

(last update: October 12, 2011)

Coordinators:
Jean-Michel Sauvage (France)
Morten Helberg (Norway)
Nils Helge Lorentzen (Norway)
Mars Muusse (Netherlands)

Great Black-backed Gull 1cy November

Description of 1st winter plumage

First-winter (Sep-Mar) similar to juvenile, but head and upper breast whiter with narrower dark streaks (especially around eye and on hindneck); forehead normally white. May show dark ear-spot. Mantle and scapulars pale grey to buff with blackish subterminal bars or anchor-shaped spots; often intermixed with juvenile feathers. Bill similar to juvenile, but some develop paler base from early winter. Pale individuals have whitish underparts, narrower dark subterminal marks on upperparts and narrow dark covert-markings. With wear may bleach as described under Herring Gull, but rarely as extreme (an extremely pale spring bird shown by Grant (1989a) could to my eyes be partly leucistic, as the upperparts appear unmarked, which is atypical even in very worn birds). (Malling Olsen, K. & Larsson, H. 2004 Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. London: Christopher Helm).

Moult into first winter

Juvenile moult to first winter plumage partial Aug-Nov, including mantle, scapulars, and (probably) parts of head and body. Often no sign of moult into Nov/Dec. (Malling Olsen, K. & Larsson, H. 2004 Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. London: Christopher Helm).

Although Malling Olssen states "often no sign of moult into Nov/Dec", this is not supported by data of ringed birds. The table presented in September illustrates that 40% (n = 10) do show the first signs of moult, i.e. new upper scapulars. By October, over 90% (n = 13) replace the upper scapulars and 38% has started moult in the lower scapulars as well.

By November, all ringed birds had at least some new upper scapulars, with many birds categorised ">75% of the upper scpaulars replaced". There may be a bias towards southern populations, as all images on this site are from birds ringed in S Norway or colonies further south like Denmark and France. It remains pure speculation, but it would be interesting to know where very fresh juvenile birds in November, like THIS ONE hatched. Birds similar to this one, but still fresh by 2cy March, are represented by THIS POWERFULL bird, which is believed to have travelled from far northern Europe. A far northern hatching colony does not necessarily reflect late moult in scapulars. In February we photographed this Russian bird from Murmansk, yet with obvious avergae moult scores in the scapulars.

All wing-coverts, tertials and flight feathers still juvenile by October. By November, one single bird (J17Y) that had gc2 missing.

top: marinus 1cy JJ77 November 25 2006, Boulogne/Mer, N France. Picture: Mars Muusse. Within the sample of ringed birds on this site, this is the most 'retarded' bird' for November, with only single upper scapulars replaced.
Class: US=1-25%, LS=0%, TOT SCAPS=1-25% .
below: marinus 1cy JP568 November 15 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage. Example bird for several individuals that have almost all scapulars replaced for 2nd gen feathers. As a rule, the rear feathers in the lowest row of scapulars are the last juvenile feathers in the scapular region.
Class: US=100%, LS=75-99%, TOT SCAPS=75-99% .

Tables:

Moult in 1cy November GBBG - ringed birds.
CODE
US
LS
TOT SCAPS
Birds from Norway
blue J1UH
100%
75-99%
75-99%
blue J5UK
100%
75-99%
75-99%
blue J7MZ
75-99%
1-25%
50-75%
blue JP36
100%
75-99%
75-99%
blue JA8N
25-50%
25-50%
25-50%
blue JC2Z
100%
75-99%
75-99%
blue JJ0Y
75-99%
50-75%
50-75%
black J09Y
75-99%
75-99%
75-99%
black J17Y
75-99%
50-75%
50-75%
black J22Y
75-99%
75-99%
75-99%
black J33Y
75-99%
0%
50-75%
black JJ26
75-99%
25-50%
50-75%
black JJ66
75-99%
50-75%
75-99%
black JJ77
1-25%
0%
1-25%
black JK38
50-75%
50-75%
50-75%
black JL25
75-99%
1-25%
50-75%
black JH092
75-99%
1-25%
50-75%
black JH380
100%
75-99&
75-99%
black JH837
100%
25-50%
50-75%
black JP086
75-99%
25-50%
50-75%
black JP568
100%
75-99%
75-99%
black JY084
75-99%
1-25%
50-75%
Birds from Germany
red HM07
1-25%
0%
1-25%
red HM09
25-50%
0%
1-25%
Birds from France
black 94L
75-99%
75-99%
75-99%
blue 46D
75-99%
1-25%
50-75%
Birds from England
red CZD
75-99%
1-25%
25-50%
notes:
(1) J17Y: gc2 missing.

below: graph corresponding to data from table 1. n=27. Distribution of 2nd generation scapulars in November 1cy GBBG, separated into Upper Scapulars, Lower scapulars and for Total scapular region. Classification in 6 classes, running from 0% (no 2nd gen scaps) to 100% (all scaps in a region are 2nd gen).

It is clear from the column "Total scapulars" that not a single bird scored "0% 2nd gen scaps", in other words, all those 27 ringed birds had replaced at least one or more (upper) scapulars for 2nd gen feathers.

7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy 46D November 05 2008, Boulogne / Mer, France.
8210.jpg (74296 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy L28 November 21 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8210.jpg (74296 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 75L 1cy-2cy, November 2012 & November 2013, Boulogne sur Mer, France. Picture Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8210.jpg (74296 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy 94L November 15 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8210.jpg (74296 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 97M 1cy, November 27 2013, Boulogne sur Mer, France. Picture Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8210.jpg (74296 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1y CZD November 01 2008, Boulogne / Mer, France.
8210.jpg (74296 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy HM07 November 15 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8210.jpg (74296 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy HM09 November 17 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JP36 November 17 2002, Westkapelle, the Netherlands (51.33 N, 3.25 E).
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy J5UK November 25 2006, Boulogne/Mer, N France.
8902j43a.jpg (64885 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull J7MZ (Larus marinus) 1cy: November 24 2007, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (50.42 N - 01.34 E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JC2Z November 25 2006, Boulogne/Mer, N France.
1598.jpg (74227 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull JJ0Y (Larus marinus) 1cy: November 10 2006, Boulogne/Mer, France. Picture: J-M Sauvage.
1598.jpg (74227 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull JA8N (Larus marinus) 1cy: November 10 2006, Boulogne/Mer, France. Picture: J-M Sauvage.
gbbgGreat Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy J1UH November 16 2006, Boulogne sur Mer, France (50.44 N - 01.35 E). Picture Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8471j52c.jpg (85052 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JH092 November 06-10 2010, Westkapelle, The Netherlands. Picture Corstiaan Beeke & Ies Meulmeester.
8471j52c.jpg (85052 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JH380 November 04 2010, Westkapelle, the Netherlands.
8471j52c.jpg (85052 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JH837 November 18 2010, Boulogne sur Mer, France (50.44 N - 01.35 E). Picture Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8471j52c.jpg (85052 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (L. marinus) 1cy JP086 November - December 2011, Boulogne sur Mer, France (50.44 N - 01.35 E). Picture Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8471j52c.jpg (85052 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy JP625 November 27 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8471j52c.jpg (85052 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy JP760 November 27 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8471j52c.jpg (85052 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy JP568 November 15 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
1598.jpg (74227 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) JT370 1cy, November 19 2013 & January 02 2014 (R.I.P.), Boulogne sur Mer, France. Picture Jean-Michel Sauvage.
1598.jpg (74227 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) JT061 1-2CY, November 2013 & October 2014, Boulogne sur Mer, France. Picture Jean-Michel Sauvage.
1598.jpg (74227 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy JT933 November 22 2013, Boulogne sur Mer, France. Picture Jean-Michel Sauvage.
8471j52c.jpg (85052 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) JU883 November 09 2014, IJmuiden, the Netherlands. Picture: Robert van der Meer.
8471j52c.jpg (85052 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy JY084 November 04 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
gbbgGreat Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy J09Y November 23 2007, Westkapelle, the Netherlands.
8902j43a.jpg (64885 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy J17Y November 24 2007, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (50.42 N - 01.34 E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
8902j43a.jpg (64885 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy J22Y November 08 2007, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (50.42 N - 01.34 E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
8902j43a.jpg (64885 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy J33Y November 02 2007, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (50.42 N - 01.34 E). Picture: J-M Sauvage.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JJ26 November 25 2006, Boulogne/Mer, N France.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JJ66 November 25 2006, Boulogne/Mer, N France.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JJ77 November 25 2006, Boulogne/Mer, N France.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JK38 November 25 2006, Boulogne/Mer, N France.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy JL25 November 25 2006, Boulogne/Mer, N France.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) R745 November 07 2014, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. Picture Jean-Michel Sauvage.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy 3M-0148 November 21 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage. Which country???
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (marinus) 1cy xxx0131 November 01 2012, Boulogne-sur-Mer, NW France. Picture: Jean-Michel Sauvage.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1JK 1CY, November 12 2011, Dalkey, Dublin, Ireland. Picture: Stephen Lawlor.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1VA 1st cycle (1CY-2CY), September 2013 - January 2014, Dublin, Ireland. Picture: Graham Prole.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1VU 1CY, November 30 2013, Dun Laoghaire West Pier, Dublin, Ireland. Picture: Graham Prole.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1VV 1st cycle (1CY-2CY), November 2013 - January 2014, Dublin, Ireland. Picture: Graham Prole & Stephen Lawlor.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 3AL 1CY, October - November 2013, Dalkey, Dublin, Ireland. Picture: Stephen Lawlor.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 3CA 1CY, November 15 2013, Dublin, Ireland. Picture: Stephen Lawlor.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 3EN 1CY, November 21 2013, Howth, Dublin, Ireland. Picture: Graham Prole.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 3EP 1CY, November 04-22 2013, Howth, Dublin, Ireland. Picture: Graham Prole.
7095jp36.jpg (66909 bytes)Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1cy, November 24 2006, Boulogne/Mer, N France.