Lesser Black-Backed Gull
Family:Gulls and terns
52cm to 64cm
135cm to 150cm
620g to 1000g
The lesser black-backed gull has dark grey-black wings and back and yellow legs and beak. These birds are just a bit smaller than the closely related herring gull.
The entire world's population is found in Europe and in the UK, more than half the population can be found at less than 10 sites.
Like many gulls, they are omnivores and will scavenge almost anything and everything for food.
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.
Get the latest BirdFacts delivered straight to your inbox
© 2022 - Bird Fact. All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission.