The Herring Gull is a quintessential seabird that belongs to genus Larus of the family Laridae. The binomial name of the gull is Larus Argentatus and it is the most familiar marine bird in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, discriminating this species from many other gull species is rather challenging. Similar to several other gulls, the Herring Gull has an all-white neck and head, with gray upper wings and a pale gray back, but it is the only seabird with black wing-tips with white dots and pink legs.
The Herring Gull is a big, heavy-bodied marine bird with completely-webbed feet and a firmed forehead that offers it a mean look. An adult Herring Gull is capable of attaining a body length that ranges from 22 inches to 26.8 inches (55 cm to 67 cm), with a wingspan, ranging from 54 inches to 58 inches (135 cm to 145 cm) and with a body mass between 1.1 lbs to 2.4 lbs (720 grams and 1500 grams).
The Herring Gull can be identified with its heft, and somewhat hooked bill with bold red tilt. Outside of the reproductive season, the white neck and the head of the Herring Gull bird will become streaked with tan, and its bill and the orange colored ring around its eyes will fade in color. During the flight, the Herring Gulls appear barrel-chested and expansive-winged when compared to smaller Ring-billed Gulls. Usually, a Herring Gull will take four years to attain the adult plumage.
Usually, the Herring Gull prefers to drink only freshwater, but it will also drink seawater when no fresh water is available. The special glands of the Herring Gull located over its eyes will allow it to expel the salt that would otherwise dry out most animals, including humans. The salty emission can be seen dripping from its nostrils and from its bill ends.
Juvenile Herring Gull birds are dappled dark grayish-brown, and they experience seven transforms during plumage earlier than adulthood.
The Herring Gull can be largely seen along coastlines and near big lakes, reservoirs, and major rivers in winter. During the summer season, the Herring Gull birds most probably are seen along the Great Lakes, Atlantic Coast, and coastal Alaska, and they also breed across the Boreal far north, as well.
The Herring Gull is a very noisy seabird and many vocalizations are produced, including the famous raucous laughing call.
The Herring Gull mostly feeds on in habitats as varied as open water. The Herring Gull is an absolute opportunist and a scavenger, using almost any accessible food resource. The Herring Gull will feed on insects and other small creatures that emerge in plowed fields, mudflats, and garbage dumps, and meet in approximately any unwrapped space near food. The Herring Gull also feeds on refuse, fish offal, bird chicks, eggs, small mammals, invertebrates, and worms. The Herring Gull will swallow the smaller food items as a whole, whereas it will drop the harder and larger food items from a height onto rocks to crack them open
The Herring Gull will patrol the Open Ocean and shorelines, picking scraps from the water surface. The Herring Gull will rally about fishing boats or will refuse dumps. The Herring Gulls are noisy and spirited scavengers, and happy to grab the meal of another bird. Herring Gulls spend most of their time in perching near food resources, frequently in flocks of gulls.
The average lifespan of the Herring Gull is 20 years.