Breeding ‘Baltic Gulls’ from the Horsvær archipelago in Norway and the occurrence of such birds in Britain

Published on 11 September 2018 in Main articles

By Carl Baggott, Morten Helberg and Mars Muusse

Abstract In this paper we describe the status of the Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus breeding in the Horsvær archipelago, an important colony in northwest Norway, from which at least 15 colour-marked individuals have been sighted in Britain. The birds’ plumage, long wings and general appearance match the characters of ‘Baltic Gull’ L. f. fuscus; the migration patterns and moult strategy of the ‘Horsvær gulls’ are also consistent with nominate fuscus from the core parts of the breeding range. In our opinion, the Lesser Black-backed Gulls from the Horsvær colonies are best treated as pure L. f. fuscus.

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Adult ‘Baltic Gulls’, Horsvær, Norway, 4th August 2017: long-winged and elegant with jet-black upperparts. Carl Baggott