Home PageBirds of Devon and Cornwall Great Black-backed Gulls  

Latin name - Larus marinus

The Great Black-backed Gull is the largest gull found in Britain, 64 cm to 79cm long, a wingspan of up to 165cm with a weight of up to 2kg. Both male and female are similar with a white head and body, black wings and back, yellow bill with a red spot, yellow eye with a red orbital ring and pink legs and feet. Young birds are grey-brown with black bills, by the time there are 2 years old only the bill tip remains black, the black back and wings start to develop after the age of 3 years and the bird is fully adult by the age of 5. It is a powerful aggressive bird with a large, strong bill which will harass other gulls to snatch food. More than this it will use its size and bill not only to kill chicks of other seabirds but to kill adult birds such as Puffins, Manx Shearwaters and Coots. It will even catch and kill rabbits.

Great Black-backed Gull, Plymouth Sound Great Black-backed Gull, Plymouth Sound