Great Black-Backed Gull
Family:Gulls and terns
64cm to 78cm
150cm to 165cm
1000g to 2kg
The great black-backed gull is a very large member of the gull family. They have large, yellow, powerful beaks with pinkish feet. Adults are much blacker than the younger birds.
Whilst perched, they can sometimes look hunched.
Like most other gulls, they are competitive for food and will fight off and chase other birds that try to snatch food.
Their diets mainly consist of carrion, shellfish and other birds.
Named in honour of the French naturalist and ornithologist, Jean Victor Audouin (1797 – 1841) the Audouin’s gull is one of the world’s rarest and is limited in the main to regions within and surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
Terns are water birds from the family Sternidae and are expert fish catchers. There are generally considered to be forty five separate species of terns worldwide. Generally smaller than gulls but with long tails, thin bodies and short legs, they are long distance migrants.
There are four sub-species of the common gull with the European variant being the nominate. The other three are the Russian, Kamchatka and American, which are all predominantly confined to the geographical region attributed by their name. There are subtle differences in plumage and overall size of bird between sub-species.
The title of Black-headed Gull is rather a misnomer for this bird as its head is not black but a dark brown colour and only in adult birds during the breeding season. It is not present during the winter months or in other plumages. Unlike many gulls it is not restricted to coastal regions and is widespread inland in both rural and urban areas.
A graceful tern, easily distinguishable in their black summer plumage, which they're named after.
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