Herring Gull

Larus argentatus

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

These are the blighters that will swoop down and steal your ice cream or fish and chips whilst on the beach or the seafront. A few years ago I was sitting on a pebble beach and was about to tuck into a nice custard tart when one dive bombed me from behind and snatched the lot from my grasp in its beak.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

This one landed on the roof just outside my hotel window. When I was a young lad I only used to see these beside the seaside, but now they fly overhead and have even landed on my garage roof here in the West Midlands where I am completely landlocked. Many have adapted well to a life inland, living off the rubbish we leave in our wake.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

Yes despite their adaptability they are on the RSPB Red Status list here due to a moderate decline in numbers over the last 25 years. I have to say I do have a soft spot for them, despite the reputation they get sometimes. Yes they are scavengers and will virtually eat anything, and will attack small birds and other animals, yet their piercing cries and their streamlined forms as they soar aloft in the high blue yonder is alway quite something to experience.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), West Shore, Llandudno, Wales.

29 thoughts on “Herring Gull

  1. Beautiful images, Pete. I agree they are certainly clever birds/ I’ve had a few experiences where they’ve snatched human food and just gobbled it right up. Friends have called them rats with wings, I beg to differ, they are adapting to a world where they’ve been offered human food, so they are only doing what we’ve encouraged them to do.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Laura πŸ™‚ I completely agree with what you have said here. They say exactly the same thing about pigeons, too. They do what they have to do to survive, which is what nature has instilled in them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have these little beasties here, too. They’re especially bad about plucking baby ducks from the water: heart-rending, to say the least. I know they have to eat, but really — baby ducks? They are impressive, though, and much larger than our other gulls. They certainly are easy to identify, because of their size and their cries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They will virtually eat anything, such is the way they have evolved, and unfortunatley they are not picky. They are opportunists, and sadly they will attack young and infirm birds, and even animals.


  3. Great photo captures of this gull Pete. Thanks for all the information on this bird – was very interesting. They have a lot of gulls along the U.S. coast lines that love to snatch goodies out of your hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peggy πŸ™‚ They certainly live up to their name of scavangers, but they have to find a way to survive. It’s when they steal your food then plop on your head, that is taking it too far lol!

      Liked by 1 person

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