Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-28

Common name:

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Scientific name: Larus fuscus
Date: 25 Feb 2013
Time: 3:05 PM
Length of time observed: ~4 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Unknown
Location: Logan Landfill
County: Cache
Distance to bird: ~50 feet
Optical equipment: None
Weather: Cloudy
Light Conditions: Diffuse light
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Medium-sized gull with dark mantle. About the same size as California Gulls nearby, but with a darker mantle. Yellow legs, brighter and deeper in color than the California Gulls. Yellow bill with a red spot and at most a smudge of black (no prominent black spot). Some streaking on white head, but apparently coming into breeding plumage because it did not have much streaking. Bright pale eye.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None noted for sure to come from this individual.
Habitat: Landfill.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
California Gull about the same size but has dark, not bright light, eye. California Gull also has a paler mantle. All pink-legged gulls (Western, Slaty-backed, Great Black-backed, Herring, Thayer's, etc.) eliminated by the deep yellow legs of this gull. Mew and Ring-billed Gull are smaller than this bird, which was about the size of the California Gulls nearby. Yellow-footed Gull and Yellow-legged Gull are probably the most similar, but are eliminated here by the size (too small for both). Too pale for Kelp Gull, and also too small and legs too bright. Black-tailed Gull eliminated by the lack of significant black on the bill and absence of black on the tail.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
This is my ninth observation of Lesser Black-backed Gull, all of which have been in Utah (and some of which were repeated observations of the same individual). See records 2008-32, 2008-33, 2009-22, and 2012-48.
References consulted: None.
Description from: Photos taken at the time of the observation.
Observer: Ryan O'Donnell
Observer's address: 1098 Crescent Dr
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 28 Feb 2013
Additional material: Photos