Saturday, January 7, 2012

Greater Black-backed Gull

A Greater Black-backed Gull, Andrews Point, Rockport, MA; 11/12/2011.
Among all the sea birds I have seen off the Atlantic Coast during my November weekend in Massachussets, it probably comes to no surprise that seagulls were the most common sighting. The three gulls that dominated were the Ring-billed Gulls that are one of the most common gulls of this continent; Herring Gulls, another common gull throughout North America; and the Great Black-backed Gull (Above), common along the Atlantic Coast, and also became #337 on my Life List.
A Greater Black-backed Gull, Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA; 11/12/2011.

The Great Black-backed Gull gets its name ffrom two obvoius traits - it's all-white except for a black back and black wings, and it is the larger of two similar gulls, the other being the Lesser Black-backed Gull. Greater Black-backs can grow up to 30" in length with a 65" wingspan, while the Lesser BB Gull will only reach a maximum of 21" with a 54" wingspan. In fact, Greater Black-backs are North America's largest gull. I often saw Black Backs floating out on the ocean waves off shore, many times with ducks, such as Eiders.

No comments: