Friday, June 13, 2014

Black-headed gull

Black-headed gull

The black-headed gull  is a small gull which breeds in much of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada. Most of the population is migratory, wintering further south, but some birds in the milder westernmost areas of Europe are resident. Some birds will also spend the winter in northeastern North America, where it was formerly known as the common black-headed gull. As is the case with many gulls it had previously been placed in the genus Larus.This gull is 38–44 cm 15-17½ in long with a 94–105 cmwingspan. In flight, the white leading edge to the wing is a good field mark. The summer adulth sachocolate-brown head  pale grey body, black tips to the primary wing feathers, and red bill and legs. The hood is lost in winter, leaving just 2 dark spots. It breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.The black-headed gull is a bold and opportunistic feeder and will eat insects, fish, seeds worms, scraps and carrion in towns or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish. This is a noisy species, especially in colonies, with a familiar "kreear call. Its scientific name means "laughing gull.

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