RSPB
Skip navigation
Join the RSPB

Help us give nature a home from £3 a month.

Conservation status: Amber

Not really a black-headed bird, more chocolate-brown - in fact, for much of the year, it has a white head. It is most definitely not a 'seagull' and is found commonly almost anywhere inland. Black-headed gulls are sociable, quarrelsome, noisy birds, usually seen in small groups or flocks, often gathering into larger parties where there is plenty of food, or when they are roosting.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Family

Gulls (Laridae)

Where to see them

The commonest inland gull, particularly in N England, Scotland and Wales. Large colonies along the south and east coasts of England.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Worms, insects, fish and carrion.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-140,000 pairs2.2 million birds-

Distribution

Key

In the UK
Found UK-wide
In Europe
All except the most northerly parts
Worldwide
Europe and Asia (breeding); N and W African and Arabian coasts (winter)

Audio

Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

Find out more