Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Day 170 - Gorgeous Great Black Backed Gulls

Great Black Backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Hey everyone, today's Day 170 and I found this beauty when I was looking over my photos yesterday looking for a bird to do. It was another bird I saw on the coast at Craster on my way to Dunstanburgh Castle. It was very happy to be photographed and sat nicely on a lovely rocky outcrop so that I could get in the waves breaking behind it. I did a similar bird a while ago - the Lesser Black Backed Gull - but today I'm covering the Great Black Backed Gull.

So I did my research and here's a bit of what I found:

  • They are quite a big bird 71cm in length with a wingspan of 158cm. They weigh, both males and females, on average 1.7kg.
  • They are resident all over the coast of the UK and they Winter over Eastern Scotland and Eastern and Central England.
Loved getting the waves in the background
  • Number wise there are 17,000 breeding pairs and 77,000 over wintering birds. Despite this they are an amber status bird as they have suffered recent non breeding population declines.
  • They don't have many predators or natural threats but they are hunted for sport in Denmark :-(
  • The population decline with this species has occurred since 2007 when they were a green status bird.
  • They like most habitats except reedbeds and moorlands but they are mostly found on shorelines except when wintering when you will find them in more habitats like lakes and rivers.
It was only so patient and then has a sit down!
  • Few of these birds get ringed so data on their typical lifespan isn't available. In 2012 only 7 juvenile Great Black Backed Gulls were ringed.
  • Of those that have been ringed the oldest recorded Greater Black Backed Gull lived to 24 years 11 months and 25 days.
  • They are omniverous eating shellfish, carrion and even birds. They are happy scavenging on rubbish tips!
  • Their global distribution range (resident or breeding) covers 1,070,000 square kilometers - this is mainly based around the Atlantic and North Sea.
Well that's a little bit about the, if you'd like to find out more try these sites:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. I love Gulls, they're such impressive birds. Another great post here Zach! - Tasha