BIRDS OF ICELAND : Larus ridibundus, Black-headed Gull

Larus ridibundus; the black-headed gull is the most common of the smaller gulls of Europe. The black head is unique to the (common) gulls on Iceland. It is a feature of the breeding season. After the breeding season, late summer, they gradually lose the black color and during winter a faint black spot behind the eye is all what is left. It is a highly opportunistic bird that can make full use of wastes of human society. Therefore it can be found both in natural environments as well as in urban areas. During the winter they can be found in Iceland in harbours and at fish factories. On Iceland the main breeding populations can be found along the south coast. They breed in marshy areas in colonies. Islands in lakes are especially preferred. To emphasize its close opportunistic habit towards human society: the opening picture was taken at the popular tourist camping ground at Myvatn. It should be noted that the black-headed gull is, as a breeding species, a recent immigrant who started breeding on Iceland in the early part of this century.

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A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise

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Show other photo's of the black-headed gull:
 juvenile (late summer - first autumn).
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 juvenile (late summer - first autumn).
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