The Black-Headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) is a coastal bird in the Laridae family of seagulls.
The Black-Headed Gull has a white and pale-grey body with a chocolate-brown head – not a black head. It has black tips on its wing feathers. It has a red beak and red legs. In winter, the chocolate-brown colour on its head disappears and there are only two dark spots.
It measures 38-44 centimetres (15-17 inches) long, with a wingspan of 94-105 centimetres (37-41 inches).
The Black-Headed Gull is native to most of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada. However, it is not found in Spain, Italy, and Greece. It migrates south in winter. It prefers coastal regions, water sources with reeds, marshes, or lakes. It stays close to the coast, and does not travel far out to sea.
It eats most types of food, such as insects, fish, seeds, worms, carrion (meat from dead animals), and human food scraps.
The Black-Headed Gull lives in colonies. It makes a nest on the ground.
Its lifespan is about 30 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM