Sunday, 23 August 2009

Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

OTHER NAMES: Black head, Masked Gull, Peewit Gull, Common Black Headed Gull
Latin Etymology: Chroicocephalus ("stained head") ridibundus ("laughing")
Adult Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) in Winter plumage at Regent's Park - December 2010

Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 200-400g  /  Length: 38-44cm  /  Wingspan: 94-105cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List - Least Concern

Probably the most common and easy to see member of the gull family, it is smaller than most of Britain's gulls and in the summer can be easily distinguished from all the other common gulls (but not the little gull or Mediterranean gull) by it's namesake "black head" which is actually brown (whereas the Mediterranean gull's head is actually black). In the winter it has a white head white black blotches, as can be seen in the above picture. It can be found in a very wide variety of habitats - cities, any largish bodies of water, towns, fields and the coast being common ones - really no one should have the slightest bit of trouble location dozens of these birds with ease

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Chroicocephalus
Subspecies: none - monotypic

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Common breeding resident (140,000 pairs) and abundant Winter Visitor (2,200,000 birds)
 - Birds seen commonly at a large number of sites, including but not limited to Rutland WaterTrevose HeadRainham MarshesRegent's ParkKensington GardensPitsford ReservoirDitchford Gravel PitsEyebrook Reservoir and Geddington.
JAPAN - Japanese - ユリカモメ / Yuri kamome ("Lily Gull")
Winter visitor.
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: A few seen around Kamakura.
SPAIN - Spanish -  Gaviota reidora ("Laugher Gull")
Scarce and Local Resident
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Abundant at Laguna Navaseca.

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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