Gallery - Gulls
Gulls are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls, stout, longish bills, and webbed feet. Most gulls, are ground-nesting carnivores, which will take live food or scavenge opportunistically. Live food often includes crabs and small fish. Gulls have unhinging jaws which allow them to consume large prey.
Apart from the kittiwakes, gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing far out to sea. The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls.
Gulls nest in large, densely packed noisy colonies. They lay two to three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation. The young are precocial, being born with dark mottled down, and mobile upon hatching.
Gulls—the larger species in particular—are resourceful, inquisitive and intelligent birds.
Black Backed Gulls
Two larger gulls in this group
The largest of the gulls eats a variety of food. It frequently kills other birds, especially young seabirds.It breeds on small islands,cliff tops and sometimes marshes or moorland.The nest is a mound of vegitation.
The Lesser Blacked-backed gull has been classified as a Amber list species-Medium conservation concern.
Closley related to the Herring Gull. nests on Islands,dunes or moors and increasingly winters in coastal areas. Eats a wide range of food, including scavenging at rubbish tips and predating other birds.
Herring Gull Types
These Gulls used to be all under the umbrella of Herring Gull
The Herring gull has been classified as a Amber list species-medium conservation concern.
A farmilar gull around the coasts of NW Europe, visits rubbish tips, farmland and parks. Herring gulls eat a variety of food including carrion and offal from fishing boats They nest in open,often sloping ground and are becoming common on buildings.
In Britian often stands apart from the large gull flocks or more likely to associate with Lesser Black-backeds. Has a tendency to feed on tide-line, away from other gulls.
A gull very close to Herring and Yellow legged Gulls
These gulls are normally winter visitors
A large white winged gull, almost as large as a Great Black-backed Gull, and equaly as fiere. breeds along Artic coastlines on Islands and Inland cliffs. In winter frequents all coastlines, including harbours as well as rubish tips inland.
A medium-size gull, smaller than most herring gulls.It has very pale plumage and white wing tips, and, like the glaucous gull, it is sometimes referred to as a 'white-winged' gull. It is a winter visitor, with small numbers of birds, usually seen singly. It breeds in the Arctic and winters as far south as New York and Britain.
It may be seen almost anywhere around the coast, especially in the west.
Gulls with Black Heads
These Gulls have Black heads in breeding plumage.
BTO video about small Black-headed Gulls
The Black-headed Gull has been classified as a Amber list species-medium conservation concern.
A familiar gull over much of Europe. it breeds inland or on coastal marshes and visits farmland,parks and sheltered coasts.These gulls eat eat insects and worms and will also visit rubbish tips. nests on the ground, usually in colonies.
The Mediterranean Gull has been classified as a Amber list species-medium conservation concern,
This attractive gull has spread beyond the mediterranean shores,especially outside the breeding season.
Smaller than a Black-headed Gull with long wings, a slightly forked tail and a contrasting wing pattern at all ages. This species does not breed in Britian or Ireland, it nests in the high Artic often among colonies of Artic Terns.
This is the smallest gull in Europe, it feeds on insects in summer and fish and small marine creatures when they are not available.
Very like a small Black-headed gull but breeding hood greyish-black and covering nape and a shorter slenderer black bill.
Smaller gulls normally with yellow beaks
The Kittiwake has been classified as a Amber list species-medium conservation concern.
A true sea gull, nesting in large noisy colonies on precipitous cliffs and spending the rest of the year at sea.. nests are cemented to cliff ledges with seaweed and droppings.
The Common Gull is an Amber list species-Medium conservation concern.
This gentle looking gull breeds in North Europe on rocky islands, shingle bars, marshes and upland moors. It feeds on aquatic insects,worms and fish.They nest in colonies, mainly on the ground.
This small bird is similar in size and some plumage characteristics to the little gull. It is slightly larger and longer winged than that species, and has more-pointed wings and a wedge-shaped tail. Its legs are red. Summer adults are pale grey above and white below, with a pink flush to the breast, and a neat black neck ring. In winter, the breast tints and neck collar are lost and a small dark crescent develops behind the eye.
Young birds resemble winter adults, but have a dark "W" pattern on the wings in flight, like young little gulls. The juveniles take two years to attain full adult plumage.
Ross's gull breeds in the high Arctic of northernmost North America, and northeast Siberia. It migrates only short distances south in autumn, most of the population wintering in northern latitudes at the edge of the pack ice in the northern Bering Sea and in the Sea of Okhotsk, although some birds reach more temperate areas, such as north west Europe. In North America, a Ross's gull has been spotted as far south as Salton Sea in California, although sightings this far south are extremely rare. The summer breeding grounds are tundra with sedges, grass tussocks, dwarf willows, bushes, lichens and pools.
Vagrant from N America, much like a Common Gull.
© Simon Thurgood 2017
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