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Conservation status: Red

Herring gulls are large, noisy gulls found throughout the year around our coasts and inland around rubbish tips, fields, large reservoirs and lakes, especially during winter. Adults have light grey backs, white under parts, and black wing tips with white 'mirrors'. Their legs are pink, with webbed feet and they have heavy, slightly hooked bills marked with a red spot. Young birds are mottled brown. They have suffered moderate declines over the past 25 years and over half of their UK breeding population is confined to fewer than ten sites.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Larus argentatus

Family

Gulls (Laridae)

Where to see them

Herring gulls are widespread and can easily be seen at virtually any seaside town in the breeding season, and inland all year round, especially at rubbish tips, playing fields and reservoir roosts.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Ominivorous - a scavenger.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-140,000 pairs740,000 birds-

Distribution

Key

Audio

Stuart Fisher, Xeno-canto

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