How to identify

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 curved bills marked with a red spot. Young birds are mottled brown. This species is on the Red List due to ongoing population declines and wintering population declines.


Herring Gull

Stuart Fisher / xeno-canto

A lone Herring Gull stood on a stone wall overlooking the sea.
Herring Gull
Gulls and the law: What to do if gulls nest on your roof

Did you know that there is more than one type of ‘seagull’? In fact, there are around 50 species worldwide and six types which commonly breed in the UK! Perhaps you have that noticed that not all of them are seen by the sea? 


  1. Resident
  2. Passage
  3. Summer
  4. Winter
* This map is intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

Key facts

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