Here are some facts about these medium sized gulls.
- They have silver grey upper parts and white underparts all year round and a dark red bill, and legs. The wings have black tips and a white edge along the forewing, which is what separates it from a common gull.
- In the summer the adult has a dark chocolate brown head. But in the winter it only has a small black smudge to the rear of its eye (in eclipse). Juveniles have a ginger brown mantle and wing feathers but over two years become more like the adults
|Black Headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)|
- It is not a sea-gull as it found almost everywhere
- They are sociable but squabble with each other and can be quite noisy!
- They are found most often in small flocks
- A group of gulls can be called a gullery, a scavenging, flotilla or a squabble!
- They are Amber status because there are 2.2 million residents over winter but only 140,000 breeding pairs in the UK, so in the rest of Europe they're not a bird of concern but in the UK they are.
- Length 36cm
- Wingspan 105cm
- Weight 330g (male) and 250g (female)
- It's the most common inland gull even though it's Amber status
- They like to eat animal material such as insects, worms, small fish and carrion (roadkill) but also eat plant matter. They like to forage in newly ploughed fields - and even rubbish dumps! Not only can they catch flying insects whilst in the air, they can also dive for fish!
|Black headed gulls|
formation dancing team
- They can come into gardens and take advantage of food left on the bird table when their food sources become scarce in the coldest winter weather
- They nest in fields, marshes, cliffs, estuaries etc.
- They have one clutch of eggs per year usually with 2-3 eggs
- Here in the photo is a small group of black headed gulls showing us their sychronised dancing formation (at Wells next the Sea in Norfolk)
Hope you enjoyed this post.