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Conservation status: Red

A gentle looking, medium-sized gull with a small yellow bill and a dark eye. It has a grey back and is white underneath. Its legs are short and black. In flight the black wing-tips show no white, unlike other gulls, and look as if they have been 'dipped in ink'. The population is declining in some areas, perhaps due to a shortage of sandeels. After breeding birds move out into the Atlantic where they spend the winter.



Latin name

Rissa tridactyla


Gulls (Laridae)

Where to see them

A strictly coastal gull. In the breeding season, look for it at seabird colonies around the UK. In late summer and autumn it can be seen flying past offshore, or gathering at roosts. It spends the winter months out at sea.

When to see them

The best time to see them is on the breeding grounds in spring and summer - they arrive back at the colonies from February, staying until August. Passage birds can be commonly seen offshore from August to October.

What they eat

Fish, shrimps and worms.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-380,000 pairs--




Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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