English and Scientific names:

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus

Number of individuals: 

1 adult, my guess would be female

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

Timbalier Island

Date(s) when observed:

7 Feb. 2008

Time(s) of day when observed:  

9:40 am

Reporting observer and address:

B. Mac. Myers III

Eunice, LA 70535

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Richard DeMay

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s):


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):


Optical equipment: 

10x42 Eagle Optics, good condition

Distance to bird(s): 

within 50 yds.

Duration of observation:

10 minutes?


Gulf beach

Behavior of bird: 

standing, walking, flying, nothing to remark on. This was seen during winter plover surveys. The bird was directly compared with LBBG and HERG


A large gull, distinctly larger than HERG or LBBG, but it was not a really massive individual--hence my guess that it was female. Very dark back, only slight contrast with darker wingtips. Head white with no apparent streaking. bill large with pronounced gonydeal angle. Eye pale. Legs pale, dull fleshy-pink; the webs of feet were darker pink. In flight the outer two primaries had a fairly large white spot at tips of those primaries.


not heard

Similar species:

The size, pale eye, very dark mantle, wing pattern, and leg-foot color all fit GBBG and should eliminate Western Yellow-footed, Slaty-backed as well as Kelp or Kelp x ("Chandeleur") Gulls.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

4 photos attached

Previous experience with this species: 

a fair number in LA, many in N. Atlantic. Some experience with all the likely confusion species except Yellow-footed

Identification aids:

don't recall, maybe Dunn and Howell

This description is written from: 

notes at the time and photos

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 




B. Mac. Myers III

Date and time: 

2 April 2008 3:59 pm