Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 201

Common name:

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Scientific name: Larus fuscus
Date: 17 Nov 2012
Time: 10:28 AM
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: unknown
Location: Logan Landfill, Logan
County: Cache
Distance to bird: 50 yards
Optical equipment: Nikon 20x spotting scope
Weather: Mix of sun and clouds
Light Conditions:  
Description:        Size of bird: Medium-large gull
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Gull
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Darker adult gull
(Description:)            Bill Type: Gull
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Medium-large gull, about the same size or slightly larger than California Gulls. Darker back than adjacent California Gulls. Adult, with yellow bill, red gonys spot, black primaries with white terminal spots. Yellow legs. Extensive streaking on head and nape.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior: Perched on the edge of the landfill with other gulls.
Habitat: Landfill.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
California Gull eliminated by pale eye and significantly darker mantle color, in the same lighting conditions and same angle of bird to the the observers and the light. Yellow-footed Gull eliminated by extensive streaking in head and nape, relatively thinner, straight-sided bill. Great Black-backed Gull eliminated by smaller size, slightly paler mantle (but still dark), and yellow legs. Slaty-backed Gull, Vega Herring Gull, and Western Gull eliminated by yellow legs.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
This is the sixth Lesser Black-backed Gull I have seen in Utah.
References consulted: Sibley Guide to Birds
Description from:  
Observer: Ryan P. O'Donnell
Observer's address: 1098 Crescent Dr., Logan, Utah
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other Observers: Andy Kleinhesselink, Andrew Durso (again), Stephanie Cobbold, Craig Fosdick, Mike Hearell, and Taylor (last name unknown).
Date prepared: 17 Nov 2012
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: Andy Kleinhesselink has better photos at this link:  [see photos page]