Black-headed Gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus

    Alternative names
    Larus ridibundus

    Not really a black-headed bird, more chocolate-brown - in fact, for much of the year, it has a white head with just a dark streak. It has red legs all year round. Juvenile gulls can be harder to identify and have brown lines on their wings and a speckled breast. The bill and legs are red or bright red in the adult but paler and orangey in the juvenile and sub-adult birds.

    Identification difficulty

    The commonest inland gull, particularly in northern England, Scotland and Wales. Large colonies along the south and east coasts of England.

    When to see it

    All year round

    Life History

    It is most definitely not a 'seagull' and is found commonly almost anywhere inland. Black-headed Gulls are sociable, quarrelsome, noisy birds, usually seen in small groups or flocks, often gathering into larger parties where there is plenty of food, or when they are roosting.

    UK Status

    Common and widespread in Britain

    VC55 Status

    Abundant in Leicestershire and Rutland, but uncommon as a breeding bird here

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map