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Great Black-backed Gull

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About the Great Black-backed Gull

Also known as: Greater Black-backed Gull

The Great Black-backed Gull is the largest species of gull in the world. They may be up to 31 inches long and large male birds may weigh over 5 pounds!

Like many species of gull, Great Black-backed Gulls are opportunistic feeders, scavenging up to half of their daily food intake. Unlike other gulls, however, they are also known to hunt and kill live prey. These clever birds use a variety of techniques to accomplish this, lacking strong talons or a raptor's strong beak.

The population trend for the Great Black-backed Gull is increasing, and the conservation status for the species is Least Concern as of November 2014.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 29 November 2011
Scientific Name Larus marinus
  • Charadriiformes
  • Laridae
  • Larus
  • L. marinus
Birdorable Family Terns & Gulls
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
28 to 31 inches
60 to 68 inches
46 to 80 ounces
Range West Europe East Europe North Europe North America United States (East) Arctic

International Names

  • 大黑背鸥 (Chinese)
  • racek mořský (Czech)
  • Svartbag (Danish)
  • Grote Mantelmeeuw (Dutch)
  • merilokki (Finnish)
  • Goéland marin (French)
  • Mantelmöwe (German)
  • Mugnaiaccio (Italian)
  • オオカモメ (ookamome) (Japanese)
  • Svartbak (Norwegian)
  • mewa siodłata (Polish)
  • Большая морская чайка (Russian)
  • Gavión Atlántico (Spanish)
  • Havstrut (Swedish)

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Bonanza Bird #12: Great Black-backed Gull

Bonanza Bird #12: Great Black-backed Gull

Today’s bird, and the 12th species in the Birdorable Bonanza, is the Great Black-backed Gull! Great Black Backed Gull by Hilary Chambers Great Black-backed Gulls are the largest species of gull in the world, ... more