2CY Lesser Black-backed Gulls YBWU and YBZC – 2015 and 2016

During the breeding season of 2015, we fitted 2 young Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the gull colony of IJmuiden Forteiland with a colour ring: one with Green Y.BWU and the other with Green Y.BZC.

G-YBWU-20150629

G-YBZC-20150706

One year later in July 2016 they were seen in Spain by Gabriel Martín who took some excellent photos.

They nicely show the plumage variation of Lesser Black-backed Gulls in this age group: where YBWU appears uniformly brown without much contrast, YBZC is already showing dark-grey feathers on the back and in the wing.

YBWU-201607

YBZC-201607

Also note that both gulls are actively moulting their primaries: the dark black second-generation inner primaries contrast well against the brown first-generation outer primaries which are now just over a year old.

It’s nice to see these 2 gulls doing well and we hope to see them return to the gull colony hopefully next year or the year after.

Many thanks to Gabriel Martín for these observations and photos! See more of his photos on his blog Larus.

For more examples of second-calendar year Lesser Black-backed Gulls in July, visit gull-research.org.

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