Black Headed Gulls - Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - Black Headed Gulls- Hebridean Birds Sightings.

These gulls are- actually its dark chocolate rather than black - is a most elegant bird - with its slender wings with sharp points - red legs and red bill.

The Western Isles has an abundance of these pretty birds, the juveniles have a totally different plumage, mottled brown, so different you wouldn't guess they were black headed gulls.
        Black Headed Gulls - Photo Gallery
Herring Gull -  Western Isles
Photo Gallery  - Black Headed Gulls
Bird Overview - Black Headed Gulls
Family
Gulls (Laridae)
Latin name
Larus ridibundus

 Population
Common Breeding Bird
Abundant in Winter


Similar Species
Great Black Backed Gull
Yellow Legged Gull
Description

The range of plumages that they have depends on their age and time of year, as it does for most gulls, and so they are not the easiest birds to identify.

All year round the adult Black-headed Gull has silver grey upperparts and white underparts, and dark red bill and legs. The wings have black wing-tips and a white edge along the forewing.

In the summer, the adult has a dark chocolate brown head (but not nape and neck), but in the winter it has only a small black smudge to the rear of each eye.



Young birds have ginger-brown mantle, shoulders, and wing feathers - as they reach two years old - they are more like the adults.

This elegant species of gull with its slender wings and sharp points, its red legs and its smudge behind the eye is really a beautiful bird. Some would think it were a seagull - but it really isn't.

These birds are usually seen in groups or flocks. These gulls can be seen on the Western Isles all the year round.

Although these birds are called "black" headed - the heads are actually more of a chocolate-brown - in fact, for much of the year, it has a white head.

These gulls have bright red legs and red bills

One of the commonest inland gulls in Scotland. They eat Worms, insects, fish and carrion.You can see these birds all over the western isles. They breed in colonies - often very large colonies. The gulls are very noisy. Pairs hold a small territory and defend it from rivals and predators.



Size
34 - 37cm

Habitat
These gulls breed inland within reach of fresh water. they are a very sociable bird and here in the Western Isles you can see them on beaches along with other wading birds or inland alongside the lapwings and other birds.

Food
The Black-headed Gull is a an opportunist feeder and will scavenge in towns or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish. Beetles, dragonflies are amongst the food this bird likes.

Voice
A Kveer - krriya and other screeching noises - especially when breeding.
Breeding
Breeding birds have a dark brown hood, while juveniles look completely different with reddish brown markings on the upper parts and head. They breed here April - july - have 3 eggs - incubation is 22-24 days. The young birds fledge at 5-6 weeks.

Misc. Info
When the young birds hatch - their parent shave to guard that they don't venture onto their neighbours territory - or fights erupt.
Black Headed Gull in Flight - Western Isles
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