Great Black-backed Gull

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.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 29 November 2011
Scientific Name
Larus marinus
  • Charadriiformes
  • Laridae
  • Larus
  • L. marinus
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 20 March 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
28 to 31 inches
60 to 68 inches
46 to 80 ounces


International Names

Chinese (汉语) 大黑背鸥
Czech (Cesky) racek mořský
Danish (Dansk) Svartbag
Dutch (Nederlands) Grote Mantelmeeuw
Finnish (Suomi) merilokki
French (Français) Goéland marin
German (Deutsch) Mantelmöwe
Italian (Italiano) Mugnaiaccio
Japanese (日本語) オオカモメ (ookamome)
Norwegian (Norsk) Svartbak
Polish (Polski) mewa siodłata
Russian (русский язык) Большая морская чайка
Spanish (Español) Gavión Atlántico
Swedish (Svenska) Havstrut
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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