Monday, July 30, 2007

Great black-backed gull fact sheet

Larus marinus Great black-backed gull 

The great black-backed gulls is the largest gull in the world. The adults are identified  by their dark cover, massive yellow beaks and pink feet. The larger juveniles are more difficult to distinguish from other gulls as their colouration is more mottled and can easily be confused with other species. Black-backed gulls feed on other birds, eggs, fish, dead animals and leftover garbage. Nesting occurs between April and July in Russia and northern regions of the Atlantic. They often build their nests on dry seaweed in rocky areas with protection from the wind. They breed singly or in colonies with both parents taking part in incubation. In the Azores black-backed gulls are frequently seen in small flocks, mainly during the winter months. They are sighted throughout all the islands and are especially common in ports and marinas. This species is classified as an "uncommon vagrant" in the Azores.

Length: 71 - 79 cm

Weight: 1,400 - 2,300 g

Wingspan: 150 - 170 cm

Longevity: 27 years

Diet: Birds, fish, dead animals and rubbish remains

Breeding age: c.6 years

Eggs: 1 - 3

Incubation: 28 days

Nesting sites: On the ground on all types of substrate

Fledging: 50 days

In other languages:
Portuguese: Gaivotão real
Spanish: Gavión atlántico
French: Goéland marin
Italian: Mugnaiaccio
German: Mantelmöwe
Dutch: Grote mantelmeeuw
Swedish: Havstrut
Norwegian: Svartbak
Danish: Svartbag
Finnish: Merilokki

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