Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

Black-headed Gull in summer plumage

Black-headed Gull in summer plumage

The Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) is a small bird species living in Europe, Asia, and northeastern North America. Only occasionally, individuals migrate as far south as East Africa, southern Asia, or Indonesia. The birds are opportunistic and feed on a large variety of animals as well as plant parts (e.g., insects, fish, worms, small crustaceans, and seeds). The gregarious bold gulls are also commonly seen in cities where they look for left-over food items. Not surprisingly, the species is named after the prominent black feathers covering the head. However, this black plumage develops only in the summer months. During the winter, the birds have a white head with only small dark patches. The individuals reach considerable ages with some having been recorded as more than 30 years old! The Black-headed Gull is one of the most abundant sea birds in Germany and therefore it was not difficult for me to take some photographs throughout 2014.

Black-headed Gull in summer plumage

Black-headed Gull in summer plumage

Black-headed Gull at the beach

Black-headed Gull at the beach

Black-headed Gull at the beach

Black-headed Gull at the beach

Black-headed Gull at the beach

Black-headed Gull at the beach

flying Black-headed Gull

flying Black-headed Gull

flying Black-headed Gull

flying Black-headed Gull

flying Black-headed Gull

flying Black-headed Gull

flying Black-headed Gull

flying Black-headed Gull

flying Black-headed Gull

flying Black-headed Gull

Black-headed Gull in summer plumage

Black-headed Gull in summer plumage

Black-headed Gull in summer plumage

Black-headed Gull in summer plumage

Black-headed Gull in winter plumage

Black-headed Gull in winter plumage

Black-headed Gull in winter plumage

Black-headed Gull in winter plumage

Black-headed Gull in winter plumage

Black-headed Gull in winter plumage

 

5 responses to “Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

    • actually there is a Brown-headed Gull living in Asia… but to make things even more complicated: in German, the Black-headed Gull is called Lachmöwe (“laughing gull”) and there is also a Schwarzkopfmöwe which means translated “Black-headed Gull” – but this Schwarzkopfmöwe is actually called Mediterranean Gull in English… and btw. the Laughing Gull occurring in America is again a different species called Aztekenmöwe in German… what a chaos with these colloquial names… 🙂 thanks a lot for your comment!!

  1. Pingback: Brown-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus) | wild life·

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