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Conservation status: Amber

A large pale gull with white wing tips. Younger birds are creamy white or more biscuit coloured, depending on age. All have pale wingtips. It is bigger than a herring gull and bulkier, with a fiercer expression, larger beak and squarer head than the smaller but virually identically-plumaged plumaged Iceland gull.



Latin name

Larus hyperboreus


Gulls (Laridae)

Where to see them

At the coast, most often on beaches and in harbours and bays. Found inland where large gulls gather in numbers: at rubbish tips and in roosts at reservoirs.

When to see them

A winter visitor, mostly seen between November and March.

What they eat

Scavenges for carrion, shellfish and scraps.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--170 birds-



In the UK
Scarce around all UK coast, with the largest numbers in Scotland. Small numbers also occur inland throughout the UK.