Black-Headed Gull

Lazy lockdown Saturday for myself and my family today, and while the teenagers continued to excel in their ability to sleep for gold, my husband and I grabbed some tasty bird treats and went for a walk around a local lake. We fully intended to feed the ducks and swans but we got side-tracked by one of my all time favourite gulls the 'Black-Headed Gull'. They are just absolutely hilarious! Noisy and animated they kept us amused for ages and managed to munch their way through the best part of the duck treats. I've come to the conclusion their highly entertaining and captivating ways have evolved in a bid to ensure their cut in the free all you can eat buffet against the boisterous 'Herring Gull'.

This small, agile, hooded bird can be a little misleading as it never truly has a black head, dark brown but not black and only during the breeding season, the remaining months it is identified by the dark ear spot on a pale head.

Its underwing though dark, flickers and shimmers as it steadily beats and glides, and its deep red legs and bill stand out against its pale plumage. Its repertoire of sounds are one of its most entertaining features, squealing one minute, laughing and happily chattering the next. Feeding on worms, seeds, fish and insects from the ground and water, it can also comfortably catch a meal in flight too.

When it's time to nest they will find a marshy area amongst vegetation, and build a nest on piles of stems hoping to hatch one brood of two or three eggs. Once hatched these endearing little gulls can live up to fifteen years.

Spend just ten minutes studying a flock of 'Black-Headed Gulls', and I'm sure you will become as captivated by them as we are! I am in no doubt that one will soon feature in one of my pieces!


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