As with most gulls, the plumage of the Common Gull varies greatly and depends on age and the time of year.
In the summer, the adult birds have blue-grey wings, back and mantle, and white head, neck and breast. The wings have black tips with white spots. The legs and bill are yellow-green.
In the winter, the bill is duller with a thick black band towards the tip and the head is streaked grey.
The plumages of juveniles and immature birds are complex, but basically mottled brown.
|Scientific Name||Larus canus|
|Length||38-44 cm (15-18")|
|Wing Span||106-125 cm (42-50")|
|Weight||300-500 g (11-18 oz)|
Their calls are high pitched, some are laughing calls and others are mewing calls: "keow".
As well as scavenging on carrion, Common Gulls feed on worms, insects, molluscs and fish.
In the winter, they can often be found scavenging at landfill sites with other species of gulls.
The nest is made from seaweed and other plant material. Both birds build the nest, which is usually on the ground and in a colony.
The greenish eggs have brown blotches on them and are smooth and non-glossy. They are about 58 mm by 41 mm in size. Both birds share the duty of incubating the eggs and feeding the precocial nestlings.
|Breeding Starts||Clutches||Eggs||Incubation (days)||Fledge (days)|
The resident birds are joined by Scandinavian visitors in the winter, and the population increases to about 700 000 birds.
Recently, there has been a decline in their numbers, which may be caused by one or more of the following: changes in farming practices, planting of commercial forests, land drainage and predation by mink.