Black-headed Gull

Chroicocephalus ridibundus

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A relatively small and widespread gull found across Eurasia, the Black-headed Gull features a prominent white blaze on its wing''s leading edge in all plumages. Breeding adults sport a dark brown (not black) hood, red bill, and legs, while nonbreeding individuals display a dark ear spot on a white head along with a dark-tipped red bill. Juveniles exhibit a mottled brownish back that gradually transitions to pale gray during winter. This adaptable species thrives in diverse wet habitats, ranging from duck ponds and farm fields to natural wetlands and seacoasts. Often forming large flocks numbering in the hundreds or thousands, it occasionally ventures as a rare but consistent visitor to North America, notably in the northeast. Distinguished by its red bill, dark red legs, and more extensive black underwings compared to nonbreeding Bonaparte’s Gulls, the Black-headed Gull is an intriguing sight amid mixed flocks of gulls.

Photo of Black-headed Gull