Herring Gull - Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - Herring Gulls- Hebridean Birds Sightings.

The herring gull has silver-grey back, white head, neck and underpart.

This gull has black wing tips with white spots or patches. The heavy looking bill has a red spot on underside.

Herring gulls have flesh-coloured legs. Immature gulls are speckled brown and grey.
        Herring Gulls - Photo Gallery
Herring Gull -  Western Isles
Photo Gallery  - Herring Gulls
Bird Overview - Herring Gull
Family
Gulls (Laridae)
Latin name
Larus argentatus

 Population
Common


Similar Species
Great Black Backed Gull
Yellow Legged Gull
Description
An adult in the summer will have a pale grey back and wings, with white spots on their black wing tips. They have a yellow bill and pink legs. The eye is yellow with a surrounding orange ring.

The plumage varies greatly according to the bird's age and the season. Juveniles are mottled brown with a dark bar at the tip of the tail. Immature birds become progressively greyer above and white below until they reach adult plumage in their 3rd winter.

In the winter, the bill is duller, and the head and neck are streaked with grey.


The legs of the Herring Gull are usually pink but they can be yellowish or greenish often the birds with yellower legs have come from the Baltics

Size
The Herring Gull is larger than the Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, and Lesser Black-backed Gull, but smaller than the Great Black-backed Gull
Length:26 - 66 cm Wingspan: 144 cm

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.
Ponds,lakes,rivers,marshes. Often seen in the Western Isles lochs.


Food
Omnivorous, but usually its more animal material. Herring gulls are scavenges and pirate food Herring Gulls are opportunists and will eat most things: fish, crabs, insects, eggs, young birds, small mammals and garbage.

Adult Herring Gulls have a bright red spot on the lower part of their yellow bill. A chicks peck at this spot when it wants to be fed, stimulating the parent to regurgitate what it last ate, ready to feed the chick.
Voice
A "kyow" and laughing calls, like "gah-gah-gah", of the Herring Gull is to be heard all over the Western isles
Breeding
The Herring gulls usually nest in colonies on ledges of sea cliffs or in dunes, the nests are made by both the female and the male herring gull, often using seaweed and grass. The herring gulls first breed at four years old.

The smooth, dull pale green eggs have brown blotches on them and both birds incubate and feed the young nestlings. Three eggs are usually laid and incubation is 28 days and the youngsters fledge at 35 - 45 days

Misc. Info
Typical lifespan is 12 - 19years, though the maximum recorded age is 34 years
Living close to the sea it's impossible to ignore the presence of these exceptionally noisy birds the herring gulls.. These striking birds are seen as pests by many, but the remarkable path of evolution t and their fascinating social behaviour makes them of great interest to bird spotters throughout Scotland and indeed the UK.
Herring Gull - Western Isles
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