Great Black-backed Gull 9/30/10

Great Black-backs are the king of the gulls along the New England coast, and are the largest of all the world’s gulls being about 30″ long with wingspans of 5 and a half feet. In the center of the photo is a juvenile which will take 4 years to reach the black-backed plumage of the adult birds on either side, each year becoming a little less brown and a little more black-backed. Like most gulls they are opportunistic scavengers, but Great Black-backs are also aggressive predators, especially among the nesting colonies of seabirds. Fetched at Fort Foster, Kittery Point.

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