The UK is home to 6 species of gull: Great Black-backed Gull (Larus Marinus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus Fuscus), Herring Gull (Larus Argentatus), Black-headed Gull (Larus Ridibundus), Common Gull (Larus Canus) and Kittiwake (Rissa Tridactyla).
(Laridae) As with all birds, they are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 though can be controlled under certain circumstances. They are known scavengers at domestic and commercial sites looking for food as well as flocking in great numbers and waste handling and landfill sites. They are a reasonably large bird and have been known to be aggressive towards people when looking for food.
Great black-backed gulls – 64-78cm in length, wings are black with white tips, beak is yellow with a red spot, legs are pink
Lesser black-backed gulls – 52-64cm in length, wings are dark grey with black tips, beak is yellow with a red spot, legs are yellow
Herring gull – 55-64cm in length, wings are a silver grey with white spots and black tips, beak is yellow with a red spot, legs are pink
Black-headed gull – 34-37cm in length, wings are pale grey above with white flecks on tips and black underneath, beak is red with a black tip, legs are red
Common gull – 40-44cm in length, wings are medium grey, beak is a green-yellow, legs are green-yellow
Kittiwake – 38-40cm in length, wings are pale grey with black tips, beak is yellow, legs are brown-black
Often seen in large flocks both inland and coastal
Favour high up nesting sites on building roofs and warehouses etc
Can roost in many thousands on inland water sources such as reservoirs
Start to breed from 5 years old
Eggs laid in April or May, up to three eggs laid at 2 or 3 day intervals
Usually only 1 successful clutch per season
Life expectancy of up to 25 years
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