Discover the Herring Gull

Populations of herring gulls, or Larus argentatus, are numerous in Quebec and the rest of Canada. Its grey feathers, which stand out against the white of its body, distinguish it. This species can also be recognized by its yellow beak, which sports a red dot on the end. Juvenile specimens vary in colour from one year to the next and don’t acquire their adult plumage until four years of age.

The lifestyle of the herring gull

Habitat :

Herring gulls migrate in groups to more temperate climates during the winter, from November to March. The rest of the year, colonies of this species settle near food sources. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see them in urban environments, fields, garbage dumps, and parks, as well as on golf courses, islands, cliffs, and roofs. Perfectly adapted to urban areas, the seagull nests on the roofs of buildings where they are protected from predators. As soon as a colony is well established in a place, it will return there each spring to nest. The seagull can therefore return to nest in the same location for a period ranging from 10 to 20 years.

Alimentation :

Omnivorous, the herring gull has the ability to regurgitate food that it can’t digest. Individuals of this species stick together in places where they are likely to recover food scraps left by humans.

Reproduction :

Around mid-March, upon returning from their migratory journey, herring gulls find their usual nesting site. In couples, they build a new nest there or improve an existing nest. The female seagull usually has one brood of three eggs per year. Laying takes place around mid-May, and the incubation period usually lasts from 26 to 28 days.

The risks associated with the herring gull

Seagulls invade urban environments and industrial parks and cause their share of inconveniences, as a colony can easily reach 5,000 individuals. Their presence on roofs can cause many problems: contamination by droppings carrying diseases, degradation of the roof membrane, or drain blockage. Protected by the laws concerning migratory birds, this species can only be controlled by certified professionals. The Bird Solution team has the expertise to effectively control harmful seagull colonies.
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