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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Ring-billed Gull

Bird Sightings - Ring-billed Gull
Adult Ring-billed Gull in summer plumage

Ring-billed Gull

Larus delawarensis


Photography © Brian Rabbitts
Balranald Nature Reserve - North Uist - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
March 19th, 2007


Our Ring-billed Gull photographs

Ring-billed gull
Ring-billed gull
Ring-billed Gull
summer adult
with Common Gull

Ring-billed Gull
summer adult


  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Larus delawarensis
  • UK: Scarce visitor, 74 annual records BTO (Most common gull in North America)
  • WI: Scarce (very small numbers recorded in most years) TBC
  • Breeds: Colonies nest on ground by rivers, lakes & coast. Bird returns to same nest site each year. North America, Canada
  • Winters: South to North America & the Great Lakes (wanderer to UK & West Europe)
  • Habitat: Seacoasts, lakes, rivers, fields
  • Diet: Omnivorous: Forages, scavenges, steals. Fish, insects, earthworms, small mammals, grain, eggs & rodents
  • Slightly larger than common gull. White head, neck & below. Shortish, yellow bill has dark ring. Back & wings silver-grey. Yellow legs and eyes. Different immature plumage classes for first three years.
  • Max recorded age 15yrs
  • Similar birds: Common Gull (no ring on bill)


Research shows that at only two days old ring-billed gulls preferred the bearings of the direction for their fall migration!

Hunted almost to extinction in the early 1900's. It's feathers were used in hat-making. The population has recovered but not achieved previous levels.


Ring-billed Gull records in the Western Isles

Scarce (very small numbers recorded in most years) TBC

The chart below shows how abundant the Ring-billed Gull is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.














(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)


Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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