Black-headed gulls are one of the easiest gulls to identify. As Viola notes, their heads are not really black but are instead a ‘coffee colour’. This distinctive feature only occurs during the breeding season. When winter arrives, their heads will return to being white with a small smudge behind the eye.
Black-headed gulls are now very much urban gulls. They have a wide diet that consists of insects, earthworms, plant material and our rubbish and leftovers.
The gulls are a lot smaller than the lesser black-backed and herring gulls which you may also see in your garden. They are very sociable and have a distinctive “kree-ar” call.
July 15. Riverdale. The black headed gulls are very tame here.
They come and feed in the garden. Two or three
young ones have come too. They are almost all a
sort of coffee colour for the first year. The old
ones have a queer sort of performance that they go
through now and again. The tail is elevated, the wings
slightly extended, with the tips raised, and the head alternately
raised and lowered. A sort of bowing performance. Two
gulls seem to vie with each other in doing this. Sometimes
seemingly for the benefit of a third party, sometimes
seemingly not. During the performance they make noises
like a distorted dove’s coo.