A probable hybrid Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) X Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) in Massachusetts

This adult gull was photographed on South Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts on 11 October 2003. What was almost certainly the same bird was seen at the same site two weeks previously on 27 September 2003. Virtually all characteristics seemed to be intermediate between the presumed parent species. The mantle color was noticeably darker than the adjacent Herring Gulls but distinctly paler than a nearby adult Lesser Black-backed Gull (roughly the same as a California Gull). The legs were fleshy with a distinct yellowish tinge, though were not nearly as yellow as a typical adult Lesser Black-backed. The bird was smaller than any of the nearby Herring Gulls (closer in size to a Lesser Black-backed)

All images were digiscoped with a Nikon Coolpix 995 through a Leica Televid scope with 20-60x eyepiece, and are copyright 2003 Blair Nikula.

LBBGxHEGUadSBch1003a.jpg (71317 bytes) LBBGxHEGUadSBch1003z.jpg (71846 bytes) LBBGxHEGUadSBch1003n.jpg (72787 bytes) LBBGxHEGUadSBch1003u.jpg (64811 bytes)

Two shots comparing the mantle color with adjacent adult Herring Gulls:
LBBGxHEGUadSBch1003p.jpg (68331 bytes)
LBBGxHEGUadSBch1003f.jpg (66647 bytes)

Two shots comparing the leg color with adjacent adult Herring Gulls:
LBBGxHEGUadSBch1003s.jpg (75113 bytes)
LBBGxHEGUadSBch1003x.jpg (72718 bytes)

Web page created by Blair Nikula