Skip to main content

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Silhouette GullsGulls
Lesser Black-backed GullLarus fuscus
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Laridae

Basic Description

The rather graceful Lesser Black-backed Gull stands apart from other large gulls, such as Herring and Great Black-backed, by its smaller size, long, slender wings, and bright yellow legs. Despite being common in Eurasia, the Lesser Black-backed Gull was once a great rarity in North America, and still has not been confirmed to be nesting here despite becoming relatively common as a winter visitor. Like other large gulls, it eats almost anything (but especially fish, shellfish, and crustaceans) and can be found along shorelines and at landfills.

More ID Info
image of range map for Lesser Black-backed Gull
Range map provided by Birds of the World
Explore Maps

Find This Bird

In North America, look for Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the coasts of the mid-Atlantic states and Florida during the nonbreeding season. They gather by the dozens or even hundreds on some beaches; check eBird maps for a snapshot of local gathering places. Look for them on low-sloped beaches rich in invertebrates, and be prepared to sort through a large flock of other gull species before picking out a fairly large, long-winged individual with (in adults) yellow legs.

Other Names

  • Gaviota Sombría (Spanish)
  • Goéland brun (French)
  • Cool Facts