This relatively small gull is
13-15 inches long, has a 39-43 inch wingspan, and
weighs 8-14 ounces.
Despite its name, this gull
actually has a head that is more of a dark brown
than black. Narrow white crescents almost meet
behind the eyes but not in front, the back is
gray, the outer wing feathers are white with
black tips and blackish undersides, the tail is
white, and the bill and legs are dark red.
Outside of the breeding season, it has a white
head, with a dark spot behind each eye, dark
smudges on top of the head and above the eyes,
gray back, white underparts, and bright red bill
Males are slightly larger than
females, but they are otherwise similar in
appearance. Juveniles have much brown on the
head, neck, and back, a dark bar across each
wing, and black tail tip.
The black-headed gull breeds
across most of Eurasia, from southern Greenland
to northeastern China. It can be found near
lakes, rivers, bogs, moors, grasslands, swamps,
and coastal marshes. It winters from the southern
part of its breeding range southward to Africa
and southern Asia, along seacoasts, estuaries,
and bays. It is also an occasional visitor to the
northern Atlantic Coast of North America, west to
the Great Lakes.
Black-headed gulls feed on
insects, worms, fish, mice, garbage, and some
seeds and berries. They forage while walking or
swimming, and will also pluck food from the
surface of water while flying. Flying insects are
caught on the wing, and, like other gulls, they
will also follow plows.
The nest is usually a shallow
scrape lined with vegetation, usually on ground
in low vegetation. In wet areas, the dirt may be
built up into a fairly substantial mound. One to
four dull green to gray eggs are laid per clutch.
Chicks are able to stand within a day, but
generally remain in the nest for a week or so.
genus & family Larus ridibundus
All About Birds http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-headed_Gull/id
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