Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
Widely distributed along our coastlines, L. argentatus is both an evocative symbol of the seaside but also perhaps one the main species of bird that comes into conflict with people, given its urban nesting habits, loud calls, and sometimes aggressive behaviour during the breeding season. Despite major national population declines, public antipathy to urban nesting has led to various deterrents being employed, with varying degrees of success. Sadly, very few methods tackle the root causes of their success which are that our dwellings offer safe, elevated nest sites and our habits present them with an easily accessible and continuous supply of food. Ongoing human attitudes will affect the spread of this species in the urban environment and changing rules about the way we deal with landfill and fishing bycatch may play their part, as may climate change.
A winter plumaged adult and juvenile are pictured.
Newnham, J., 2014. Herring Gull. The Birds of Sussex. Thetford: British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Books on behalf of the Sussex Ornithological Society, pp. 320-321.
Newnham. J, 1996. Herring Gull. Birds of Sussex. Sussex Ornithological Society, pp. 320-3