Great Black Backed Gull - Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - Great Black Backed Gulls - Hebridean Birds Sightings The Great Black-backed Gull is the largest gull found in Britain and, as well as being well-built, it has a powerful bill.

The adult gulls are blacker than the smaller lesser black backed gulls often scavenges like other gulls but it not only poses a real threat to seabird chicks of all species, it can also attack, kill and eat adult birds as big as a Puffin or Coot.
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Common Gull -  Western Isles
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Bird Overview - Great Black Backed Gulls
Family
Gulls (Laridae)
Latin name
Larus marinus

 Population
Common


Similar Species
Lesser Black Backed Gull
Description

The Great Black-backed Gull is the largest gull found in Britain and, as well as being well-built, it has a powerful bill. The adult gulls are blacker than the smaller lesser black backed gulls often scavenges like other gulls but it not only poses a real threat to seabird chicks of all species, it can also attack, kill and eat adult birds as big as a Puffin or Coot.

This gull has a thick powerful neck and body, a truly fearsome bill with sharp cutting edges and a mean looking small eye It has flesh coloured legs, the back and upper wing are sooty black whilst the rest of the plumage is white, a yellow bill. Outside the breeding season it is streaked with grey.



The female is smaller than the male with a weaker bill. The young look somewhat similar to the herring gull bit with more contrasting plumage and the underparts are paler. The young don't acquire adult plumage till 3 and a half years old.



Size
64-78 cm (25 - 30 ")
Habitat
Breeds on rocky islands and headlands, occasionally on inland moors

Food
These gulls are omnivores like most Larus gulls, and eat fish, insects, crustaceans, worms, starfish, molluscs, seeds, berries, small mammals, eggs, small birds, chicks, scraps, offal and carrion.

Voice
Great Black Backed Gull - The call is a "laughing" cry like that of the Herring Gull (to which this species is closely related), but with a markedly deeper pitch.

Breeding
The great black backed gull's nest is a shallow cup constructed from grass, moss and seaweed. It maybe on sand, grass or bare rock, rocky ridges and outcrops, dunes, beaches. The species may also nest in undisturbed inland sites such as islets in large freshwater lakes and rivers, fields and open moorland.

This species breeds singly or in small colonies. A nest is built as a typical mound of grass, seaweed and other plant material. A female lays 1-3 eggs. Young Great Black-backed Gulls leave the nest area at 50 days of age and may remain with their parents for months afterwards, though most fledglings choose to congregate with other immature gulls in the search for food


Misc. Info
These gulls are often to be seen In The Western Isles and of course throughout Scotland and the UK.
Common Gull - Western Isles
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