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Merlin Bird ID

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    Ring-billed Gull

    Silhouette GullsGulls

    Ring-billed Gull

    Larus delawarensis
    • ORDER: Charadriiformes
    • FAMILY: Laridae
    Basic Description

    Familiar acrobats of the air, Ring-billed Gulls nimbly pluck tossed tidbits from on high. Comfortable around humans, they frequent parking lots, garbage dumps, beaches, and fields, sometimes by the hundreds. These are the gulls you're most likely to see far away from coastal areas—in fact, most Ring-billed Gulls nest in the interior of the continent, near freshwater. A black band encircling the yellow bill helps distinguish adults from other gulls—but look closely, as some other species have black or red spots on the bill.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Ring-billed GullRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Look for these gulls in parking lots, at sporting events, and around sewage ponds and garbage dumps. You may see them foraging for insects and worms in newly plowed fields, or perching atop light poles near shopping malls and fast-food restaurants. They also frequent reservoirs, lakes, marshes, mudflats, and beaches.

    Other Names
    • Gaviota Pico Anillado (Spanish)
    • Goéland à bec cerclé (French)
    • Cool Facts