Herring Gull - Larus argentatus

    Description

    Herring Gulls are large, noisy gulls found throughout the year around our coasts and inland around rubbish tips, fields, large reservoirs and lakes, especially during the winter. Adults have light grey backs, white under parts and black wing tips with white 'mirrors'. Their legs are pink, with webbed feet and they have heavy, slightly hooked bills marked with a red spot near the tip. Young birds are mottled brown. Their loud laughing call is well-known.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Herring gulls are widespread and can easily be seen at virtually any seaside town in the breeding season, and inland all year round, especially at rubbish tips, playing fields and reservoir roosts.

    When to see it

    All year round

    Life History

    They have suffered moderate declines over the past 25 years and over half of their UK breeding population is confined to fewer than ten sites. These are omnivores and opportunists like most Larus gulls, and will scavenge from garbage dumps, landfill sites, and sewage outflows, with refuse comprising up to half of the bird's diet.

    UK Status

    Still fairly common and widespread in Britain, particularly in coastal areas

    VC55 Status

    Common as a winter bird in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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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