Great Black-backed Gull

Basic Description

The Great Black-backed Gull (scientific name: Larus marinus) is the largest member of the gull family. They have a wingspan of up to six feet and can weigh up to four pounds. These birds have black feathers on their back and wings, while their head, neck, and underparts are white. The beak is yellow with a red spot on it.

Where To Find This Bird

Great Black-backed Gulls are found along the coasts of eastern North America from Newfoundland southward to Florida. They also breed in Iceland, Greenland, Europe, and parts of Asia.


These birds prefer rocky coastlines but can be found in other habitats such as beaches or offshore islands. During breeding season they will nest on cliffs or rocky areas close to water sources where they prey for food.


Great Black-backed Gulls are opportunistic feeders. Their diet includes fish, crabs, lobsters, mollusks like clams or mussels but also eat smaller birds like pigeons if necessary.

Cool Facts

– These gulls are known for being aggressive towards other seabirds competing for territory.
– They have strong beaks which allow them to crack open shellfish easily.
– Despite their large size compared to other seagulls species they can fly at speeds that exceed 50 miles per hour.
– Great black-backs reach sexual maturity between three and five years old.
– Their call sounds like a deep “laugh”.