Herring gull

Larus argentatus

What do they look like?

Herring gulls are the typical ‘seagull’, with a light grey back, black wingtips and a distinctive red-spotted yellow beak. They are large, sleek birds and can be noisy, some comparing their call to raucous laughter.

When can I see them in Scotland?

All year

Where can I see them in Scotland?

These large gulls are familiar to many people around Scotland and can be spotted both around the coast and further inland. They are intelligent and often unafraid of humans, sometimes swooping down to steal ice-cream, chips, or other tasty treats.

Conservation Status:

In the UK, bird species with breeding, passage or wintering populations are assessed by experts and assigned to the Red, Amber or Green lists of conservation concern. Herring gulls are currently a ‘Red’ listed species.

144 cm
28-30 days
35-40 days
12 years
Average lifespan

Herring gull against light grey background
© Emily Burton