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Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås

The Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), called Skrattmås in Skåne, is a small gull that breeds in much of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada. Most of the population is migratory and winters further south, but some birds reside in the milder westernmost areas of Europe. Some black-headed gulls also spend the winter in northeastern North America, where it was formerly known as the common black-headed gull. As is the case with many gulls, it was previously placed in the genus Larus.

The genus name Chroicocephalus is from Ancient Greek khroizo, "to colour", and kephale, "head". The specific ridibundus is Latin for "laughing", from ridere "to laugh".

Distribution
To be found over much of Europe, except Spain, Italy and Greece, also Japan and E China. It is an occasional visitor to the east coast of North America.

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås

Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

Description
This gull is 38–44 cm long with a 94–105 cm wingspan. In flight, the white leading edge to the wing is a good field mark.

The summer adult has a chocolate-brown head (not black, although does look black from a distance), pale grey body, black tips to the primary wing feathers, and red bill and legs.

The hood is lost in winter, leaving just 2 dark spots.

Juveniles have orange bill and orange legs

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Adult - Mostly grey and white
Muscat, Oman - December 2018
Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Juvenile - Dark band on wings and tail
Muscat, Oman - December 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Adult - Red bill and feet
Kiel Canal, Germany - August 2018
Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Juvenile - Orange bill and feet
Muscat, Oman - December 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Adult - Grey back
Kiel Canal, Germany - August 2018
Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Juvenile - Black and brown back
Muscat, Oman - December 2018


Length: 38-44 cm
Wingspan: 94-105 cm
Weight: 225-350 g
Longevity: 32 Years
Distinctive Feature
Head chocolate brown which does not reach nape or neck during the summer
Similar Species
Brown-hooded Gull Not so round head with steep forehead. Stout bill with bulge right before the end of bill

From photography & birds



Brown Headed Gull  vs  Black Headed Gull
Brown Headed Gull vs Black Headed Gull - Click HERE for bigger picture
Picture from photography & birds and excellent page well worth a visit


Immature birds have a mottled pattern of brown spots over most of the body. It breeds in colonies in large reed beds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.

Nest building
Lake Hornborga /Hornborgasjön - April 2019


Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Adult with building material
Lake Hornborga /Hornborgasjön - April 2019

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Adult with building material
Lake Hornborga /Hornborgasjön - April 2019

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Adult with building material
Lake Hornborga /Hornborgasjön - April 2019




The black-headed gull is a bold and opportunistic feeder. It eats insects, fish, seeds, worms, scraps, and carrion in towns, or invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish. It is a noisy species, especially in colonies, with a familiar "kree-ar" call. Its scientific name means laughing gull.

This species takes two years to reach maturity. First-year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less fully developed dark hood.

Like most gulls, black-headed gulls are long-lived birds, with a maximum age of at least 32.9 years recorded in the wild, in addition to an anecdote now believed of dubious authenticity regarding a 63-year-old bird.

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Adult in breeding plumage and two babies
Haparanda, Sweden - July 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Baby
Haparanda, Sweden - July 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Baby
Haparanda, Sweden - July 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Juvenile
Haparanda, Sweden - July 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
A very young baby
Haparanda, Sweden - July 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Juvenile
Holiday Inn Ellesmere Port, United Kingdom - August 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Adult moulting in to winter plumage
Hoylake, United Kingdom - August 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Adult in winter plumage - Darvic Ring AD358
And we can see that the bird is not yet in full winter (non breeding) plumage
Kiel Canal, Germany - August 2018

By Touty at www.birdforum.net: Darvics are numbered plastic rings which are read in the field, for example on Mute Swans. The name comes from the Darvic PVC sheeting used to make the rings.

Forum thread HERE


Birdforum


From the darvic ring AD358 we get the following information about the bird
Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås


Uses
The eggs of the black-headed gull are considered a delicacy by some in the UK and are eaten hard boiled.

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden, Germany
By Klaus Rassinger und Gerhard Cammerer, Museum Wiesbaden - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37436688


Preening and resting from the nest building
Lake Hornborga /Hornborgasjön - April 2019


Listen to the Black-headed Gull

Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my ZOOM H5 Handy recorder. High Pass filter in Audacity applied

Leaving the Wallasey Embankment after having been looking for waders along the Wallasey Embankment. I see a Black-headed Gull and a Lesser Black-backed Gull out on the mudflats. Too FAR AWAY for any pictures.

One sound recording cut in to two, first part with the Lesser Black-backed Gull uploaded to www.xeno-canto.org as well: XC437520


www.xeno-canto.org


Conservation status
Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T22694420A38851158. Retrieved 29 April 2016.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.birdforum.net


Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 5 August 2018
Location: Rendsburg, Kiel Canal


Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull / Skrattmås - 5 August 2018 - Rendsburg, Kiel Canal
Adult in winter plumage
And we can see that the bird is not yet in full non breeding plumage
Kiel Canal, Germany - August 2018

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull / Skrattmås - 5 August 2018 - Rendsburg, Kiel Canal

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull / Skrattmås - 5 August 2018 - Rendsburg, Kiel Canal

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull / Skrattmås - 5 August 2018 - Rendsburg, Kiel Canal

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull / Skrattmås - 5 August 2018 - Rendsburg, Kiel Canal

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull / Skrattmås - 5 August 2018 - Rendsburg, Kiel Canal
Darvic Ring AD221

From the darvic ring AD221 we get the following information about the bird
Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås






PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook



       
                  



                                       

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