13 November, 2009

Common Black-headed Gull

Scientific Name: Larus ridibundus

Population Estimate: 4.8M - 8.9M, Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Breeds on inland wetlands and marine habitats of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada. Most of the population is migratory, wintering further south in costal areas.

Field Notes: Delicate hooded gull with black-tipped red bill and red legs. Light grey mantle and black-tipped primaries. In summer plumage, head is chocolate brown. In winter plumage, head is all white except for black spot behind the eyes. Distinguished from Mediterranean Gull by black in wings.

Personal Notes: We finally saw this gull in bleeding plumage in Spain after winter sightings in Venice and Prague. Seen again in breeding plumage in Iceland.

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