Larus marinus


Common Names: Great black-backed gull, greater black-backed gull, black-back
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Gulls, Terns, & Skimmers

This is the largest gull, bigger than a herring gull. It is 28 to 31 inches long with a 5 to 5.7 foot wingspan and a body weight of 2.9 to 5 lbs, though large males may exceed this weight. It is bulky, and has a powerful bill. The adults have black wings and back, with conspicuous white 'mirrors' at the wing tips. The legs are pinkish, and the bill yellow with a red spot. Young birds have scaly black-brown upperparts, and a neat wing pattern. They take at least four years to reach maturity, development in this species being somewhat slower than that of other large gulls.

They are found near coastal areas, beaches, and mudflats but may occasionally be found more inland near a large river or garbage dump.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings