Probable Lesser Black-backed Gull/Franklins Gull

Russell Rogers rrogers at
Fri Sep 6 08:33:07 PDT 2002

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday (9/5/02) I searched for the Lesser Black-backed Gull from 
sunrise to about 8:30 but did not see any dark mantled gulls at all. 
Eagles kept the gulls in the harbor on the move.

Later in the day I stopped at Union at the Great Bend of the Hood Canal 
and looked for the Franklin's Gulls that were reported there a few days 
ago. I found one first winter bird with Mew, Bonapart's, Ringbilled 
Gulls. Eagles kept these birds on he move as well.


Russell Rogers
219 South 2nd Ave
Sequim  WA  98382
(360) 582-3781
mailto:rrogers at
Russell Rogers
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
Point Whitney Shellfish Laboratory
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
1000 Point Whitney Road
Brinnon WA 98320
(360) 586-1498  ex 221
mailto:rogerrer at

Robert Norton wrote:

>Tweets et al,
>    Late this afternoon I found what seemed to me to be an adult LESSER
>BLACK-BACKED GULL in breeding plumage. At the onset I must say that I have
>never seen a KELP GULL or a SOUTHERN BLACK-BACKED GULL (had not heard of it
>even until Bob Boekelheide brought it up) and my YELLOW-FOOTED GULLS were
>some time ago and my one LBBG was a subadult a few years back.
>    The bird was in Port Angeles Harbor this afternoon about 5:30 to 6 PM.
>Viewed through a Kowa Scope with fluorite coating with a 20-60X zoom at a
>distance of 50 yards, mostly in sunlight from behind my right shoulder. It
>was quietly roosting with mostly CALIFORNIA GULLS. Close comparison with
>nearby Californias showed it to be the same size and bill shape. It so much
>looked like a California in all respects that my first thought was a
>melanistic California. I could not make out a gonydeal angle and there was a
>very large red spot on the lower mandible at this area. It had a completely
>white head with a yellow iris (I could never make out an orbital ring), a
>black mantle and black primaries and yellow legs (at times the legs showed
>an orangish cast). The tail was white as were the complete underparts. At
>this point I consulted Sibley. Examination after this revealed the red cere,
>primaries extending well beyond the tail and when looking from the tail end,
>the mantle was not quite as black as the primaries and had somewhat of a
>brownish cast. The white edges of the scapulars and the tertials present on
>most dark mantled gulls were apparent but not very wide.
>    I called Bob Boekelheide and he arrived at trilight and there apparently
>were many more gulls (they come from all over at sundown to roost on the
>logs in the harbor). He could not find the bird in the fading light. I will
>try to relocate the bird tomorrow with some local birders and post a note if
>I find it.
>    Does some local gull expert have some thoughts based on the description?
>Bob Norton
>Joyce (near Port Angeles), WA
>norton36 at

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