1. voyager says

    I’ve seen quite a few varieties of seagulls, but none of them have black heads or black feet. I think it makes them look a bit comedic.

  2. Nightjar says

    I was thinking the same. I don’t know if it’s the black head and bill, but something about their expression just looks rather funny to me.

    After looking it up on google it turns out that this species occurs here but only in winter, and the black head is characteristic of their summer plumage. That explains why I didn’t recognize them at first.

  3. Jazzlet says

    It always amuses me when birds tuck up one leg like that, the bigger the bird is the funnier I find it. It’s good when simple things still amuse, so thank you Ice Swimmer :-)

  4. quotetheunquote says

    Looks like a breeding-plumage (“summer”) Common Black-headed Chroicocephalus ridibundus. Funny, though, I have real trouble “making it fit”, because that species should have distinctly reddish bill and feet. Perhaps it’s just the fact that it is shade, and I can’t make out the colour? I do get a tinge of red from the bill in one of the photos…
    (The alternative explanation is that these photos are not from where I expect (N. Europe), in which case my assumptions about which species to expect would be off).
    Yes, they do turn into a mostly white-headed plumage (there’s a bit of an “auricular” black spot that remains) when they moult at the end of the breeding season. It seems to be a common thing about many small gulls, that they have a dark head (black or very dark brown) in spring/summer, and then lose it in fall. And there are many different species that follow this pattern -- Bonaparte’s here in Canada, and Brown-headed down in S. America are just two examples. I have really no explanation for why this should be so widespread in the “small gull” niche -- almost no large gulls have dark heads in any plumage, for some reason.
    (Which reminds me -- I have several good Brown-headed Gull photos from Chile, which I never took the opportunity to share with Caine ( :-( , I should do that here).

  5. Ice Swimmer says

    voyager @ 1 and “the” @ 4

    It is the same gull in all the pictures, it was wandering around seemingly aimlessly. The head and the feet aren’t actually black, the head is dark brown and the feet and the beak are reddish dark.

    The place is in Northern Europe. To be more precise, in Meilahti, Helsinki, Finland, near the bus stop that serves both the outdoor museum in Seurasaari and the former presidential residence, now the museum for the President Urho Kekkonen (President of the Republic 1956-1981), Tamminiemi.

  6. voyager says

    I’ve never seen South American gulls. I’d love it if you share. :D
    Ice Swimmer,
    Thanks for the update. I still think they look a little silly.

Leave a Reply