Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull.  Photographs taken at Wind Point and Shoop Park in Racine County, Wisconsin on November 30, 2013.

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Binomial name: Larus marinus

Category: Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers

Description: The largest member of the gull family.  White feathers with grayish-black backs and wings.  The wings have white wingtips.  Pink legs, strong yellow or pinkish-yellow bill.

Size: 25” – 31” long, 4’ 10” – 5’ 7” wingspan

Weight: 1.7 lbs. – 5.1 lbs.

Habitat: Rocky and sandy coastal shorelines, ponds, lakes, and marshes

Diet: 50% or more of their diet is often garbage or human refuse.  They also eat fish, insects, crabs, smaller birds, chick eggs, and land animals such as rats.

Nesting: Both parents build several nests on or near stacks of rocks or fallen logs. The female chooses the best one, and it is lined with grass, seaweed, and other vegetation or garbage such as rope and pieces of plastic.  The female will lay a clutch of 3 eggs and both parents incubate them for about 28 days.  Both parents raise the hatchlings, take turns finding food.  The breeding pair will reuse the same nesting site year after year.

Notes: Great Black-backed Gull feathers were used in clothing while feathers were fashionable in the late 1800’s.  Once the trend ended, populations began to increase.  This trend continues with the increase in refuse sites across North America and Europe.

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

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Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

2 Responses to Great Black-backed Gull

  1. Pingback: Great Black-backed Gull at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 16, 2014 - Window to Wildlife - Photography by Jim Edlhuber

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