Black-headed gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

In summer the head bird has a dark, chocolate-brown head, but in winter the dark plumage is relegated to a dark spot on each temple. Looks like this fella is starting to take on more colour in time for the mating season. “Most definitely not a seagull,” says the RSPB, “and is found commonly almost anywhere inland.”

Breeds across Asia and Europe and even coastal eastern Canada. Most of the population is migratory and winters further south, but some birds reside in the milder westernmost areas of Europe. It’s scientific binomial, what most people refer to as a species’ Latin name, comes from the Greek khroizo, “to colour”, and kephale, “head”. The ridibundus is Latin for “laughing”, from ridere “to laugh”.

For those who care about such things, this image was acquired from my office window with a Canon 6D SLR hosting a Sigma 150-600mm lens. f6.3, 1/3200s, ISO 1250.

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