Herring Gull

(Larus argentatus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 

No Image Available

NatureServe

N5B, N5N - Secure Breeding and Nonbreeding

SNRB, SNRN - Unranked Breeding and Nonbreeding

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common migrant, locally common breeder

Habitat

Breeding: Islands in large lakes

Non-breeding: Large lakes and rivers, wetlands, landfills

Size

23 to 26 in length

48 wingspan


Identification

 

 
Voice

 

 
Similar
Species

 


Food

Opportunistic feeder. Aquatic invertebrates, fish, insects, worms, other bird’s eggs, human food waste.

 
Nesting

 

 
Migration

 


Comments

Taxonomy
The American Herring Gull was formerly considered to be identical to the European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus). The gulls are morphologically “near-indistinguishable.” Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) studies in 2004 (Liebers, et al.) and 2005 (Knijff et al.) showed a difference between North American and European specimens. It suggested that they were not closely related, even belonging to different clades. This, along with differences in vocalizations described in 1958, suggest that the species should be separated. However, this was, and remains, controversial. Since mtDNA drifts within populations through hybridization, some authorities insist that it cannot be used as the sole determinant in separating species. Also, the vocal data is not conclusive for several reasons.

The British Ornithologist’s Union (BOU) and the Association of European Rarities Committees accept the split and use the name Larus smithsonianus for the North American gull. The American Ornithologist’s Union (AOU) considered and rejected the split in 2007. It treats the North American gull as a subspecies of the European, and uses the name Larus argentatus smithsonianus.


Taxonomy

Order:

Charadriiformes (shorebirds and relatives)

 

Family:

Laridae (gulls, terns, and skimmers)

 
Subordinate Taxa

American Herring Gull (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)

European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argentatus)

 
Synonyms

Larus smithsonianus


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this bird.

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
       
       
       

 

Camera

 

     

Slideshows

   
  Herring Gulls
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Herring Gulls  
 
About

Larus argentatus

 
     
  Herring Gull
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Herring Gull  
     
  American Herring Gull
JMC Nature Photos
 
  American Herring Gull  
     
  American Herring Gull - Larus smithsonianus
Jean-François Hic
 
  American Herring Gull - Larus smithsonianus  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this bird.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  American Herring Gull Boardwalk 1 Oct 16
Tim Root
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 16, 2016

Despite being so much larger than the nearby Ring-Billed Gulls, that Herring Gull is still a juvenile. I think first-cycle plumage but am not certain.

 
     
  American Herring Gull
Amar Ayyash
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Nov 6, 2011

This individual kept coming back to pick at this dead fish. This was recorded on the Chicago lakefront. I waited 20 minutes for it to come back.

 
     
  American Herring Gull (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) -First-Cycle
Stoil Ivanov
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 29, 2013

American Herring Gull (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) first cycle eating a salmon carcass filmed 11-29-2013 at Montrose Wilson DOG BEACH - Chicago, IL

 
     
  American Herring gull, adult winter, Galveston TX, Nov 2010
Hans Larsson
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Nov 30, 2011

American Herring gull, Adult winter, Galveston TX, Nov 2010

 
     
  American Herring Gull
Nelson Wu
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 21, 2016

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this bird.

     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   

 


 

 

Binoculars

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2017 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.