Site address
(not postal)

Woodcroft Wildspace
Downes Court


N21 3PT
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

Adults herring gulls have light grey backs and a white chest and belly. The wing tips are black with white 'mirrors'. They have pink legs with webbed feet and they have heavy, slightly hooked beaks marked with a red spot. Young birds are mottled brown. Their numbers have declined over the past 25 years and over half of their UK breeding population is confined to less than ten sites. Adult birds grow to 53-59 cm in length, with a wingspan of 138-150 cm. Their full-grown weight is 690-1,495g.

Herring gulls can be found throughout the year both around the seashore and inland, usually near rubbish tips, fields, reservoirs and lakes. They breed on grassy cliffs, moorland, shingled beaches, small islands and on the rooftops of coastal towns. They are seen all year round, especially in seaside towns during the breeding season.

The diet is omnivorous; herring gulls will scavenge for food and will eat almost anything.

The herring gull makes varied sounds including loud wailing, laughing noises and plaintive mewing.

Breeding usually takes place in colonies and 2-4 eggs are laid per breeding pair. These hatch in 28-30 days and the youngsters fledge at 35-40 days.

Herring gulls can live up to 31 years.

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