Although a commonly held belief, there is no such thing as a "seagull"!!


Instead the gull family is an amalgamation of complex and well adapted species, many of which call the UK home. Here are the 6 gull species you are most likely to find, residing from our islands to our cities.

Herring gull

Larus argentatus

The Herring gull is our most recognisable gull and likely the most vilified seabird globally. They have adapted amazingly well to urban environments, bringing them in direct contact with humans on a daily basis.

Lesser-black backed gull

Larus fuscus

The Lesser-black backed gull is a close cousin of the Herring gull. It is identified by its bright yellow legs and dark slaty back. The LBB is migratory, visiting the UK during the summer breeding season.

Great-black backed gull

Larus marinus

The world's largest gull species, the Great-black backed gull soars on a vast 1.7m wingspan. It is typically a coastal gull, thriving in our seabird and seal colonies all year round.


Rissa tridactyla

Our truest "seagull", the Kittiwake spends the majority of the year far out at sea. This cliff-nesting species only returns to land to breed for 4 months of the year. It is a dainty gull, identified by its black legs and ink-dipped wing tips.

Common gull

Larus canus

The common gull is smaller and less striking than a Herring gull. Identified by its green/yellow leg and small bill, the common gull is in fact not that common! It is a year-round resident but is uncommon inland during winter.

Black-headed gull

Chroicocephalus ridibundus

The Black-headed gull is the gull mostly likely encountered inland. Definitely not a "seagull", these sociable birds breed throughout the UK. They only gain their characteristic dark head in summer, spending winter in an all-white plumage.

Gull Girl - Seabird Research in Scotland