1CY Lesser Black-backed Gull Green Y.BSX – 20140722

Two weeks ago on 7 July, I was present when a young Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus graellsii (Dutch intergrade) was fitted with a green color ring coded Y.BSX in the gull colony of IJmuiden (Forteiland) near Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

It was still in the process of obtaining a full juvenile plumage.



Now fully fledged, it is actively discovering the world outside the colony and today, 22 July, I came across him/her in my local town of Leiden some 30km to the south of the colony. In a few months time it could very well be observed somewhere in Spain or Portugal while spending the winter there.





7 thoughts on “1CY Lesser Black-backed Gull Green Y.BSX – 20140722

  1. This year’s young gulls are getting out and about round my way now too. Was this youngster still with its parents?

    • There was no way of telling whether is was with its parents or not, we only saw it briefly. I doubt it though because observations of gulls from that colony are rare at the location where I saw it.

      • Do young gulls typically stay with their parents for a few months after fledging? I’ve never really been sure about this.

        I’ve also read that they tend to form flocks composed mostly of fledglings, though maybe that depends on the particular species…

        • I don’t have any exact figures at hand but my feeling is that parents look after their young for only a short while after they have left the colony, maybe a week or 2. It probably varies as well as do most things with gulls. Young gulls of other families are never tolerated, not inside nor outside of the colony.
          These groups of youngsters you are referring is something that is common among other species such as geese.

          • I can’t say that I’ve noticed any this year, but it’s usually getting to be around this time that I see parent gulls trying to ignore their begging youngsters and refusing to feed them. That said, earlier this year (February/March maybe?) I saw a juvenile Herring Gull that was obviously still following its mother around like a shadow.

            • I am sceptical that the adult and youngster that you saw in February were actually related. It is not known that families stay together for such a long period (I know of no ringed individuals to prove this).
              My feeling is that these youngsters are ‘lazy’ and try their luck by begging any adult for food even as late as the first months of the following year.
              The reason why adults are receptive to begging youngsters in the late winter months is that it coincides with the period in which they themselves are starting to pair up with their partner. The begging behaviour of a young is very similar to the begging behaviour of a female as part of the bonding ritual, so they are torn between conflicting emotions. See https://gullstothehorizon.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/adult-herring-gulls-regurgitating-food-for-1st-winter-gulls-20140308/

              • You may be correct. I’ve never seen anything like that before – but at the time I did post on a gull mailing list that I’m a member of and one other person has said that they’ve seen something similar. Which could also be what you described…

                it seems like some newly-fledged gulls will beg from anything living. It’s quite amusing and adorably dopey. I’ve seen them soliciting cats, magpies, geese – and of course humans, for food before.

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