The Western European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus) is a large sea bird. It is a seagull.
The Western European Herring Gull has a grey back and grey upper wings, with a white head and white underparts. Its wingtips are black. Its beak is yellow with a red spot and there is a ring of bare yellow skin (eye-ring) around its pale eyes. Its legs are yellow.
It measures up to 66 centimetres (26 inches) tall. It has a wingspan of 125-155 centimetres (49-61 inches).
The European Herring Gull is native in Europe, from western Europe to central Europe, northern Europe and eastern Europe. Some migrate south in winter, but many are permanent residents in their country, particularly in Ireland, Great Britain, and Iceland.
The Western European Herring Gull breeds in western Europe in Iceland, the Faroes, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. It is smaller than the European Herring Gull, with more black feathers in the wingtips.
It feeds on fish, crustaceans, and dead animals. It is also a scavenger, feeding on human scraps. They often fight amongst themselves for food.
It can swim, but rarely does.
It is a social bird and lives in flocks. Females lay 2-4 eggs on the ground or cliff ledge, which hatch after 28-30 days. Both parents feed the chicks for 11-12 weeks.
Western European Herring Gulls live for about 40-50 years.
[Location of photographs: London, England]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM