Lesser Black-Backed Gull ~ Jolly Farmers, Crayford, Kent - 03.12.12

Tuesday 4 December 2012

This was fascinating to watch ...

A pair of  Lesser Black-backed Gull's performing some Bonding display ..

" Greeting Ceremony "

The female seemed to instigated the start of the bonding by dropping her head forward and mew calling.
Then walking still with the head dropped and being very vocal & mew calling.
The male then did the same, dropped the head and calling, then walking towards the female with dropped head mew calling.
The male picked up a gift which was a twig, and presented it to the female, the female then sat down and began forming a scrape with her feet, notably her tertial feathers erect.
They then walked together female being followed by the male both with dropped heads and very vocal.
The male then stopped, became upright and with spread wings walked forward long calling.
The male then picked up another gift a leaf and presented it to the female, she began scrape forming again with erect tertials.
They walked together again with dropped heads mew calling, until the male wandered off, the female for a while continued walking with dropped head mew calling.
The pair didn't come together again while i was there.

I captured some of this behavior in images ...


Courtship Behavior in the Lesser Black-backed Gull
Vol.29, No: 2/4 (1967) 

In his article he describes of a "Greeting Ceremony" which occur all through the season.
The birds start by Facing Away in Upright, then do the Forward Facing Away.

 This part of the ceremony i did not see !!


Tinbergen (1959)

In his article he describes of a "Luring Behavior" which ends in facing away.


If anyone can comment further on this or correct me on this behavior it would be appreciated. 


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