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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus

With a wingspan of up to 5 ft (1.7 m), the great black-backed gull is one of the world’s largest gulls. Heavily built, with black upperwings and a powerful bill, the great black-backed gull scavenges food, but it is also a highly predatory bird. It frequently preys on other sea birds and their young, and will attack mammals as large as rabbits. The great black-backed gull breeds alone or in colonies, nesting on cliff ledges or on open ground.

Great Black-backed Gullzoom image
  • Order Charadriiformes
  • Length 28–31 in (71–79 cm)
  • Weight 2–4 lb (1.2–2.1 kg)
  • Habitat Rocky coasts, islands, inland in winter
  • Distribution North Atlantic, breeding north to Svalbard
Great Black-backed Gull habitat mapzoom image