Saturday, 15 August 2009

European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

OTHER NAMES: Herring Gull, Silverback
Latin Etymology: Larus ("gull") macularius ("ornamented with silver")

  Adult Herring Gull (subspecies L. a. argentatus) at Tintagel, Cornwall - June 2010

Featured Subspecies: Larus argentatus argentatus
Weight: 700-1500g  /  Length: 55-67cm  /  Wingspan: 135-145cm
UK RED LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

After the Black Headed Gull, the Herring is almost certainly the most common of British Gulls. There isn't that much to say about seeing them as they literally are a bird many people will see on a daily basis. The best views of them are probably going to be at seaside towns where they can scavenge from tourists or at landfill sites.  Though a very familiar species, it is actually in decline in the UK - particularly along the coast where it suffers from changing fishing practises. Two other very similar species also exist in the UK and though most pale backed birds you see will be Herring Gull, Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls can also be found.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
Subspecies: L. a. argentatus, L. a. argenteus

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A locally abundant breeding resident (140,000 pairs) and locally abundant Winter visitor (740,000 birds)
 - Birds seen at many sites including Rutland WaterTrevose HeadRainham MarshesRegent's ParkPitsford Reservoir and Ditchford Gravel Pits. Occassional flyover in Geddington.

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

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