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Black-headed Gull


With a body length of 35-39 cm and a wingspan of 86-99 cm,  black-headed gulls are the smallest regularly breeding species of the gulls themselves in Central Europe (i.e. notwithstanding the terns). Males are larger and heavier than females. In the nuptial plumage from early March to July, the head is dark blackish brown, the eyes are narrowly rimmed with white, and this rim is not closed in front. The back, upper and lower wing coverts, and upper surface of the secondaries and inner primaries are light gray; the rest of the rump and tail are white. The outer primaries are predominantly white, showing a black terminal band and narrow black margins on the inside of the inner vane. Only the outermost primaries also has narrow black margins on the outer edge of the outer vane. This forms a broad white wedge on the upperparts of the wing, which is dark edged; in flight this feature is often useful for species identification from a great distance. The beak and legs are red. The iris is dark brown. In basic plumage, only the eye region and ear area are diffusely blackish, and the red beak has a blackish tip.


During the breeding season, the species inhabits the shore areas of larger bodies of water, especially inland, but for some time now also increasingly on coasts; it mainly lives in still waters, and less frequently in larger rivers with low flow velocities. In winter, they visit favorable feeding habitats of all kinds, including short-grass meadows, arable land, garbage dumps, sewage treatment plants, harbors, and water bodies in cities. In recent decades, the black-headed Gull has increasingly appeared in urban areas far from water bodies in squares, pedestrian zones and similar places.

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachmöwe). On wikipedia the text is available under a  „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“licence. Status: 17 December 2021