Greater Black-Backed Gull

Larus marinus

photo of great black-backed gull
Great black-backed gull. © Rob Melone

Physical: L. marinus Is one of the largest gulls, growing up to 30 inches in size.  It has a black back and wings, a white body and head, and a yellow bill with a red spot.

Habitat: The Greater Black-backed Gull is located around coastal beaches and estuarine areas along the Atlantic coast.    Also due to human interference, they are found in populated areas where there is a chance of food. These are the common gulls of the beaches and parking lots.  They winter in the mid-Atllantic south to Florida.

Feeding: These gulls  primarily eat small fishes, crabs, shellfishes, small ducks, and even the young of other gulls. These aggressive birds also eat food that humans feed them or discard at  beaches and parking lots.

Breeding: L. marinus breeds primarily in isolated areas on the ground. The nests are holes in the ground filled with grass, in which they deposit  two to three spotted eggs. The eggs are incubated for four weeks.

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