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Herring Gull

About Herring Gull

Large, strong gull with a big head and powerful bill. Vary in size and color, but adult birds always have a white head, streak brown in winter; wings and back dark to silvery-gray, with white-spotted, black wingtips. White underparts. Pink legs and feet; yellow bill with red spot near tip.

The gull nests in colonies. Each pair builds a large nest with seaweed, grass and debris in a scrape or hollow. They have 2-3 pale olive, buff, green, or brown eggs; blotched, speckled and spotted with black, blacksih-brown, or dark olive that are incubated by both parents.

One of the biggest, toughest, and noisiest of the gulls, the herring is also one of the most successful. The gull is a predator and scavenger. It has learned to eat a wide variety of foods, from fish caught at sea to edible refuse taken from garbage dumps. For this reason, they can colonize in a wide range of habitats.

During breeding, they favor rocky shores with cliffs and stacks, but will go to coastal towns, or fishing ports and processing plants for food.