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Black-headed Gull: Birds of Britain

Posted in Animals, Birds, Wildlife on Monday, 31 January 2011

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Black-headed Gull - Birds of Britain, illustration, picture

Black-headed Gull – Birds of Britain

Despite its name, this gull is white all over in the winter months, with black-edged wings and tail. Only in summer does it have a brown, not black, head. This coloration is used in the “head flagging” ceremony in courtship. The birds threaten one another with their brown faces, then suddenly turn their heads away, placating their mate by hiding the aggressive dark mask. Once the black-headed gull was most often seen following the plough, but now it is a common sight in towns, scavenging for food.

This edited article originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 901 published on 28 April 1979. Click on a picture to find out more about licensing images for commercial or personal/educational use. We are also able to license textual material. Please contact us for details.

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