| Western Isles of Scotland
Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Lesser Black-backed Gull
Awaiting image for this species!
Lesser Black-backed Gull
(Baltic Gull, Less Black-Backed Gull, Lesser Blackbacked Gull)
Larus fuscus graellsii
Gaelic: Farspach bheag
- Lesser Black-backed Gull
- Larus fuscus
- Gaelic: Farspach bheag
- UK: Migrant/Resident Breeder, Passage Visitor.
- UK: AMBER LIST. 110,000 pairs (summer) BTO . Winter 60,830+ birds RSPB
- WI: Fairly common migrant breeder (1000 -10,000 pairs), and passage visitor (occurs in small numbers) Not present in winter
- Breeds: Colonies. Lined nest on ground or cliff. 1 brood a yr. Lays 3 eggs. Atlantic coasts, lakes. British Isles, Iceland, northern France. UK breeding sites are left July - Aug & birds begin to return December
- Winters: South of breeding range to South Africa, Persian Gulf. The Scandinavian birds (Jet back backs) start arriving to winter in October (not to WI)
- Habitat: Seacoasts, lakes, rivers, moor, rubbish tips, reservoirs, fields
- Diet: Omnivorous, feeds at rubbish dumps, fish
- Approx size of Herring Gull. Dark grey back & wings. Yellow bill. Yellow legs.
- Max recorded age 34yrs 4mths. Typical lifespan 15yrs
- Listen to a Lesser Black-backed Gull
- Similar birds: Great Black-backed Gull (adult is black not dark-grey), Kumlien's Gull, Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull records in the Western Isles
Fairly common migrant breeder (1000 -10,000 pairs), and passage visitor (occurs in small numbers)
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)
Not present in winter
There are three races of the Lesser Black-backed Gull, the majority of the birds we get are the West European race, Larus fuscus graellsii, this species has a dark grey back (not black) and breeds in the British Isles, Iceland, and northern France.
See a photograph of Larus fuscus graellsii (WIKI)
Larus fuscus intermedia, the Scandinavian race which breeds in Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and winters in most of the rest of the UK has a sooty black and probably occurs as a scarce (very small numbers recorded in most years) passage visitor.
See a photograph of Larus fuscus fuscus (WIKI)
On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Lesser Black-backed Gull is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.
(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section
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