Great Black-backed Gull
Larus marinus
Family Laridae

The largest gull in the world, the Great Black-backed Gull is a mainly coastal species. It is easily distinguished from other species by its sheer size and unmistakable black back and wings. Although mostly concentrated on the Atlantic coast, it has been slowly expanding westward towards the Great Lakes, after having suffered from the feather trade of the 1800’s.

Identifying Traits (both sexes):

  • Large, bulky gull
  • Very dark black back and wings
  • Pure white underparts
  • Thick yellow bill with red spot on lower mandible
  • Pale pink legs
  • Juveniles with mottled gray brown body will have a recognizably bigger bill and head than other juvenile gulls
  • Size: 71-79 cm (28-31")
  • Weight: 1300-2000 g (45.9-70.6 oz)

Voice: Call, a harsh and deep kyow or owk.

Habitat: Mostly on coastal waters, estuaries, some o large lakes and rivers

Range: The Ring-billed Gull can be found on the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Interesting Facts: During the winter, most Black-backed Gulls will eat fish pushed up to the surface by humpback whales. 



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