Black-headed Gull
winter plumage.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: animalia
Phylum: chordata
Class: aves
Order: charadriiformes
Family: laridae
Genus: larus
Species: larus ridibundus

The black-headed gull, or Larus ridibundus, is a fairly small gull which is often bullied by larger gulls. They are also quite common and are often found by the coast, as well as in parks with lakes. They are easy to recognize because of their black heads, which give them their name. However, these gulls only have black heads in the summer, so bear this in mind when not birdwatching in the summer.



summer plumage.

As mentioned earlier, these gulls have a distinctive black head in the summer, they have white necks, underparts and back, with the typical gray wings and blackish tail of a gull. When the gull loses the black on its head it keeps black ear coverts.



Gabbiano comune giovane

juvenile black-headed gull in flight.

This bird's diet is made up mainly of small fish, molluscs and crustaceans. However, they are also agile flyers, and will often be seen hawking insects.


The black-headed gull normally nests near coastal areas, and its nest is made out of plants. They lay 2 or 3 eggs which are pale blue or brown with markings.


These gulls are found in coastal areas around most of Europe, and are often found in North Africa.