Black-headed Gull


Black-headed Gull
Black-headed Gull
Typical summer plumage displaying the dark head , Antwerp, Belgium
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Chroicocephalus
Species: C. ridibundus
Binomial name
Chroicocephalus ridibundus
(Linnaeus, 1766)
Synonyms

Larus ridibundus

The Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 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 cm (37–41 in) wingspan. In flight, the white leading edge to the wing is a good field mark. The summer adult has a chocolate-brown head (not black, despite the name), pale grey body, black tips to the primary wing feathers, and red bill and legs. The hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks. This is a noisy species, especially in colonies, with a familiar "kree-ar" call. Its scientific name means "laughing gull".

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 opportunist feeder and will eat insects, fish, seeds, worms, scraps and carrion in towns, or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish.

This species takes two years to reach maturity. First-year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less fully developed dark hood. Like most gulls, Black-headed Gulls are long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 63 years recorded in the wild.[2]

Contents

In popular culture

Uses

The eggs of the black headed gull are considered a delicacy by some in the UK and are eaten hard boiled.[3][4]

Australian discovery

File:Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) in flight.JPG
Black-headed gull in flight over river Ljubljanica, Slovenia.

In the 1990s, local Broome birder Brian Kane saw a strange species of bird while trawling the local sewer ponds. Upon seeing this bird, he called one of his many bird-watcher friends to verify the species, who confirmed that it was indeed a Black-headed Gull that Brian had stumbled across. This was the first recorded sighting of the species in Australia.[5][6]

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2004). Larus ridibundus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ "Longevity, ageing, and life history of Larus ridibundus". The Animal Ageing and Longevity Database. http://genomics.senescence.info/species/entry.php?species=Larus_ridibundus. Retrieved 14 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Copping, Jasper (28 March 2009). "Top restaurants face shortage of seagull eggs". The Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/5065716/Top-restaurants-face-shortage-of-seagull-eggs.html. 
  4. ^ Conservation (Natural Habitats&c
  5. ^ Kane, Brian (31 January 2002). "Notes on the Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus at the Broome Sewage Ponds". Notes on the Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus at the Broome Sewage Ponds (Broome). http://birdingwa.iinet.net.au/articles/ar199101.htm. 
  6. ^ [1]
  • Harrison P. Seabirds of the World. Princeton University Press, Princeton (NJ), 1987 ISBN 0-691-01551-1
  • Dunn JL, Alderfer J. National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America National Geographic Society 2006 ISBN 0-7922-6877-6
  • Pons J.M., Hassanin, A., and Crochet P.A.(2005). Phylogenetic relationships within the Laridae (Charadriiformes: Aves) inferred from mitochondrial markers. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 37(3):686-699

External links

Gallery


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • black-headed gull — noun : any of certain small gulls with a black head * * * any of several gulls having a dusky or black head, as Larus ribidundus of northern Europe and Asia. [1865 70] * * * black headed gull, any one of several gulls with a black head, such as… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Black-headed Gull — rudagalvis kiras statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Larus ridibundus angl. Black headed Gull vok. Lachmöwe …   Paukščių anatomijos terminai

  • black-headed gull — noun A small gull (Chroicocephala ridibundus) which breeds in much of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada …   Wiktionary

  • black-headed gull — any of several gulls having a dusky or black head, as Larus ribidundus of northern Europe and Asia. [1865 70] * * * …   Universalium

  • Great Black-headed Gull — Taxobox name = Great Black headed Gull status = LC| status= LC | status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Charadriiformes familia = Laridae genus = Ichthyaetus species = I. ichthyaetus binomial =… …   Wikipedia

  • Great Black-headed Gull — kiras kvatoklis statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Larus ichthyaėtus angl. Great Black headed Gull vok. Fischmöwe …   Paukščių anatomijos terminai

  • common black-headed gull — rudagalvis kiras statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Chroicocephalus ridibundus; Larus ridibundus angl. common black headed gull vok. Lachmöwe, f rus. обыкновенная чайка, f; озёрная чайка, f; речная чайка, f pranc. mouette… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • great black-headed gull — kiras kvatoklis statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus; Larus ichthyaetus angl. great black headed gull vok. Fischmöwe, f rus. черноголовый хохотун, m pranc. goéland ichthyaète, m ryšiai: platesnis… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Black-billed Gull — Conservation status Endangered ( …   Wikipedia

  • Black-headed — may refer to:In ornithology:* Black headed Bunting, passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae * Black headed Cuckoo shrike, species of cuckooshrike found in south and south east Asia * Black headed Gull, small gull which breeds in much of… …   Wikipedia