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Black-headed gull - Larus ridibundus

black headed gull


 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Charadriiformes
 Family: Laridae
 Genus:   Larus
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least Concern Least Concern


black headed gullThe black-headed gull is a small gull. It is 13-15 inches in length with a wingspan of 39-42 inches. It has a red bill, a white belly and breast, a soft-gray back, red legs and feet, and gray wings tipped in black. In breeding season, it has a dark brown face and head. In winter, its head and face are white, and it has a black spot on each side of its head. Males and females look alike.


The black-headed gull is found in extreme northeastern Canada and in Greenland, Iceland, and northern Europe and Asia. It winters in the southern regions of its breeding grounds south to Africa and Asia. In the United States, it is sometimes found along the Atlantic Coast in winter.



black headed gullThe black-headed gull is found on lakes, rivers, marshes, estuaries, bogs, moors, seacoasts, and bays.




The black-headed gull eats wide variety of food including insects, fish, earthworms, carrion, garbage, seeds, and berries.

Life Cycle

The black-headed gull nests in colonies. The nest is usually a scrape lined with vegetation and shells. The female lays 1-3 eggs and incubates them for 22-26 days. Both parents care for and feed the chicks. The chicks fledge when they are 35-42 days old.


The black-headed gull is a common gull in Europe and is found well inland.

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Niels Krabbe cc logo