Great Black-backed Gull

Family: Laridae

Scientific Name: Larus marinus

Description: Great black-backed Gull is larger than herring gull. Back of wings are black. Young are like herring gulls chicks, but darker brown above and paler below. Total length is around 76 cm and total width around 160cm.

Distribution: These gulls are found on the Atlantic Coast from Labrador down to Northern Florida. They are also common on the eastern side of the Great lakes.

Habitat: Great Black-backed Gulls breed on rocky islands and cliffs and winters in harbours, bays, landfills and large lakes.

Nesting: It is generally colonial but sometimes breeds in isolated pairs. Two to three eggs are laid in a mound of vegetation and debris, built by the pair. Eggs are brown blotched, olive coloured and are incubated for 27-28 days.

Diet: They are opportunistic feeders; eats fish, eggs, birds, small mammals, berries and other invertebrates. They also scavenge at landfills; find food by flying, swimming, or walking.

Interesting facts: Great Black-backed Gulls do not tolerate Herring gulls around their nesting sites and will chase them away.