A very large, bulky, blocky-headed, four-year gull of the Atlantic. Alternate Adult has dark slate-gray (near black) mantle that is darker than any other regular North American gull, black wingtips with small white spots, white head and underparts, usually pale eye, pink legs, and yellow bill with red spot at the tip. Basic Adult has sparse brown streaks around eye. Third-cycle birds have black ring on yellow bill and smudgy brown spots in dark mantle. Second-cycle birds have sparse brown spots on sides, scaly brownish-black pattern on gray mantle, black wingtips, and pink bill with black tip. First-cycle birds are heavily patterned on the wings and back with dark spots on pale body; head is mostly white, bill is black, and neck has thin vertical streaks. In flight, note black wingtips contrasting with dark upperwings, and white spots at tips of primaries. Compare especially Lesser Black-backed Gull.
Length: 76 (cm) Wingspan: 165 (cm)
Hoarse, low, bugling notes.
Coastal areas, large lakes and reservoirs, garbage dumps.
Sometimes breeds colonially. Nest is a mat of vegetation on ground or rocky ledge. Flocks with other gulls, especially in winter.
Scavenging and opportunistic; also quite predatory. Eats a variety of fish, garbage, and small animals, including chicks of other seabirds. Pirates food from smaller birds.
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|07/15/87||Chelsea Bassanese, BC||#|
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