Bird's Eye View of Bute

Black Headed Gull

(1) Summer
(1) Summer
(2) Winter
(2) Winter
(3) Summer
(3) Summer
(4) Winter
(4) Winter
(5) Summer
(5) Summer
(6) Summer
(6) Summer
(7) Winter
(7) Winter

 


The Black Headed Gull,

A small petite gull that will not steal your children's Pokey Hat, steal your Fish Supper, soil you washing, keep you awake most of time, and last but not least, leave a calling card on you car!


This gull is non aggressive to us at all,( I may stand corrected on this) and I have never seen them being aggressive to each other. They seem to go about their business, peacefully, except , when a few of them get together on a seaside railing, it reminds me of a bunch of teenage girls,having not seen each other for a while, talking, (more like screaming) in such high notes, talking over each other, trying to get their bit in, non stop, for a while, then all is quiet , till they meet again.

I am sending in two images one in the Summer Plumage ,and one in winter
The one that you may see is in it's winter plumage, so it is minus it's black hood, ( actually , it is dark brown), but hopefully you may see both, depending on space in the Buteman
This loss of it's black hood, can fool the public into thinking it is another bird entirely, but it is still the same old Black Headed Gull,the one you have been seeing in the summertime,

Their legs are a light red in the wintertime, but go to a deep red in the breeding season, as does their bills, but have a black tip in the winter.
If you can't get close enough to see their legs or bill, then the dark spot behind their eyes is a good giveaway to what you are looking at.
They will eat almost anything, and will enjoy part of what you are eating, if not it all. You will find them at landfill sites, in the fields during ploughing, for the worms. They even in the past waited at sewage outfalls to grab what horrible things that was edible to them, but with hopefully no sewage outfalls now, they will have to find new pastures. Yuck!

They have the thinnest bills of gulls, maybe that is why we feel that they are not a threat to us, unlike the bills of the Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gulls, which are long and broad.

Norrie Mulholland


First published in the Buteman 27-02-2009.



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