Documentation of Lesser Black-backed Gull

Observer Information

Reporter:  Polly Neldner  PO Box 358,   La Veta, CO  81055
Other Observers:  Paul Neldner; Paul and Polly Neldner

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Lesser Black-backed Gull
First Date/Time:  1/9/2011
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  approximately 2 hours
County:  Huerfano
Specific Location:  Lathrop State Park. Martin Lake
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


On Martin lake

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Kowa TSN-773 Prominar Spotting Scope, Swarovski 8.5X42 and Nikon 8X32 Binoculars
Distance:  2 - 300 ft. (approximately)
Light:  Mostly cloudy with bursts of sunshine.

Description of the Bird

Bird was first seen on the yellow feet and legs were noticed with dark back coloration apparent. Steaking on head and around the eye very clearly seen. It took flight and we were able to see the coloration of the back with the small white spot very apparent.
Later we were able to get closer looks while it was swimming among ducks and geese. Bright yellow bill with red-orange spot clearly seen. Bird appeared slimmer and much smaller and had darker back than nearby Herring Gulls
Behaviors: Bird was restless, would swim along for a while and then take off in short bursts.
Call: None heard
Plumage: Adult non-breeding

Similar Species Discussion

Was seen in flight and on water next to Herring Gulls, making for excellent size, and coloration comparison

Resources Used

Sibley's Guide to Birds, and Peterson's Guide to birds and National Geographic's guide to Birds.

Previous Experience

We have seen this species at Pueblo Reservoir at least twice before.


Notes made DURING observation

Additional Information

Comments: please note, bird was originally seen on the ice, where yellow legs and feet and coloration of back was seen. Bird was later seen in the vicinity of much larger Herring Gulls, making for excellent color and size comparison
Time: 10:00 am to 12 p.m.
Elevation: approximatly 6500 ft.
Other Dates:
Nearest Town: Walsenburg, CO
Independent Observers: Paul and Polly Neldner

Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

1/9/2011 2:10:00 PM