1. English and Scientific names: Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus

2. Number of individuals, sexes, ages, general plumage (e.g., 2 in alternate plumage): 1 first year bird, unknown sex

3. Locality: Parish:  Jefferson

   Specific Locality: Grand Isle Beach State Park

4. Date(s) when observed: 4/13/14

5. Time(s) of day when observed: ~1300

6. Reporting observer and address: Dan O’Malley Baton Rouge

7. Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s): Michael Seymour

8. Other observers who independently identified the bird(s):

9. Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light): bright overhead lighting

10. Optical equipment (type, power, condition): Eagle Optics Ranger 8X42

11. Distance to bird(s): 12-15 meters

12. Duration of observation: 5 minutes

13. Habitat: intertidal beach

14. Behavior of bird / circumstances of observation (flying, feeding, resting; include and stress habits used in identification; relate events surrounding observation): Observed loafing with mixed flock of terns, skimmers, and gulls. Flew briefly and landed once we approached it for better pictures. Allowed close approach before flushing and flying east-northeast out of sight.

15. Description (include only what was actually seen, not what "should" have been seen; include if possible: total length/relative size compared to other familiar species, body bulk, shape, proportions, bill, eye, leg, and plumage characteristics. Stress features that separate it from similar species): Larger than nearby HERG. Cleaner white on head, nape, chest, and belly than 1st year HERG or LBBG. Large, deep bill that was virtually all black with a hint of paler coloration at the base. Pale pink legs. Checkered pattern evident on mantle, with feathers patterned with blackish and light gray. In flight, the uppertail coverts and base of the rectrices were mostly white with some black markings. The dark subterminal tail band was narrow. Inner primary panel did not contrast strongly with other remiges. Blackish irides and orbital ring.

16. Voice: N/A

17. Similar species (include how they were eliminated by your observation):

Herring Gull: eliminated by lack of pale inner primary panel, bill size and shape, lightness of uppertail coverts and tail base, and lightness of head and underparts.

Kelp Gull:  eliminated by size, width of subterminal tail band, faintly contrasting inner primary panel

Chandeleur Gull: Eliminated by white uppertail coverts, white bases of rectrices, and narrow black subterminal band.

Western Gull: eliminated by pale bases to rectrices, patterning of back feathers, and color of head and underparts, leg color.

Slaty-backed Gull: eliminated by pale bases to rectrices, dark primaries.

Yellow-footed Gull: Eliminated by pale bases to rectrices, patterned mantle feathers

Yellow-legged Gull: Eliminated by size, size and shape of bill, lightness of greater coverts, and color of head and underparts

18. Photographs or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? attached?): Yes Dan O’Malley


19. Previous experience with this species: Seen many times in northeast, also seen in AL, FL, and LA.

20. Identification aids: (list books, illustrations, other birders, etc. used in identification):

a. at time of observation: None.

b. after observation: Sibley’s, Nat Geo

21. This description is written from: _____ notes made during the observation (_____notes attached?);_____notes made after the observation (date:_____); ___x__memory.

22. Are you positive of your identification if not, explain: Yes

23. Date:__4/15/14 ________Time:___1255_ ___

24. May the LBRC have permission to display this report or
portions of this report on its website? ______________Yes__________

If yes, may we include your name with the report? ______Yes____________


Return to LBRC Page