Black-headed Gull

Black-headed Gull - Gulls
The Black-headed Gull is a small gull around 15 to 17 inches long with a 37 to 41 inches wingspan. The summer adult has a chocolate-brown rather than black head, a pale grey body, black tips to the primary wing feathers and a red bill and legs. The hood is lost in winter, leaving just 2 dark spots. The Black-headed Gull takes 2 years to reach maturity. Immature birds have a mottled pattern of brown spots over most of the body. First-year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings and, in summer, a less fully developed dark hood.

The Black-headed Gull can be found over much of Europe except Spain, Italy and Greece. It is an uncommon and rare bird in the USA and Canada. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.

The Black-headed Gull breeds in colonies in large reed beds or marshes or on islands in lakes and nests on the ground.

The Black-headed Gull is a bold and opportunistic feeder and eats fish, worms, invertebrates, seeds, scraps and carrion.

Date: 29th January 2012

Location: Salthouse, Norfolk

Black-headed Gull

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