Herring Gull is the medium to large gull, which found mostly along the costs of Asia, North America and Western Europe. In winters, some Herring Gulls which lives in colder areas moves to the south. However, several are permanent residents. Herring Gulls are also found around the inland garbage dumps. Meanwhile some also have adapted the inland city life.
Herring Gull has white color on its head and underparts, while its back is gray in color. It has red bill and wingtips are black with white spots. Its size varies in length from 56 to 66 cm, while weight varies from 800 to 1250 g. It has a wingspan of 137-146 cm. Their legs are pink in color and also there is yellow skin around there eyes. The male and female birds look same, only the male is slightly larger. Non-breeding adults have brown mark on their head and neck.
A one year old Herring Gull has brown plumage with darker marks. It has black bill and legs which quickly becomes pink. Also it has dark tail. However the two year old bird has characteristics like pink bill and grey back. It has white tail with black terminal band and its head, neck and belly are pale brown in color. However a third year bird is similar to adult, but has some immature bird features like brown feathers, dark marking on bill and a partial tail band.
Herring Gulls sound like a loud laugh. It is common in the northern hemisphere. They also have a sharp, crying like call a low barking anxiety call. Herring Gulls are omnivores. They eat anything. They search for their prey in fields and on the coast. They also rob food from plovers or lapwings. Although their name is Herring Gulls, they have no special preference for herrings in eating.
Herring Gull is a colonial bird. It breeds in Asia, North America, and Europe. The bird lays two or four eggs on ground or on cliff. The bird takes care of the eggs from harms. It incubates the eggs for 28 to 30 days. The eggs have dark blotched, olive color. The young birds knock at the red spots of adult bird's beak, to indicate its hunger.
Herring Gull lives in flocks. They have developed a complex communication between them. They communicate by using both calls and body language. Two similar vocalizations can have distinct meanings depending on the positions of body parts of two birds relative to each other. The interesting fact about Herring Gulls is that, they ae able to see ultraviolet light.