Fun Ring-Billed Gull Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
May 12, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Diya Patel
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Ring-billed gull facts, from nesting colonies on the ground.

You may find gulls intolerable because of the constant noise and damage caused to your properties by their droppings, but what if we told you that they play a vital role in cleaning our environment and are necessary for human survival?

Our content will convince you about the usefulness of one such gull species called the Ring-Billed Gull. Adult breeding Ring-Billed Gulls have gray back and shoulders, whereas the head and the bottom are white.

They have large wings with black tips and white spots. They have a yellow bill and feet, and the most distinguishing feature of this species is the black-colored ring around the bill.

They eat almost anything and are found to be good scavengers, and can often be seen nibbling on leftover food items. Thus they play an essential role in keeping our environment clean.

Read on to find more such interesting facts about Ring-Billed Gulls. If such topics interest you, then go through black-headed gull and laughing gull facts too.

Ring-Billed Gull Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a ring-billed gull?

It is a medium-sized seabird that belongs to the Laridae family.

What class of animal does a ring-billed gull belong to?

The Ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) belongs to the Aves class and family Laridae.

How many ring-billed gulls are there in the world?

In 2018, Wetlands International estimated the population of the Ring-billed gull species to be around 2,550,000. The population has been steadily increasing as there are no significant threats to this species.

Where does a ring-billed gull live?

Ring-billed gulls can be found near rivers, streams, landfills, coasts, garbage dumps, lakes, and reservoirs. These white-headed ring-billed gulls are predominantly found in North America and Canada from eastern Washington to the interiors of British Columbia. It can be seen in Mexico, Antilles, and Central America in winter.

What is a ring-billed gull's habitat?

The ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) habitat is in urban garbage dumps and plowed fields. In coastal areas, ring-billed gulls frequent estuaries, mudflats, beaches, and coastal waters. These birds are common around docks, piers, and harbors in winter.

Who do ring-billed gulls live with?

Red-Billed Gulls live together in huge nesting colonies. These North American ring-billed gulls form big bulky nests near rocks or vegetation on low-lying grounds near wet meadows and freshwater lakes.

How long does a ring-billed gull live?

The average lifespan of this individual North American gull species is about 10.9 years. The oldest Ring-Billed Gull on record is about 28 years old and was observed in Cleveland in 2021.

How do they reproduce?

These North American birds breed once a year between May and August. They are usually monogamous but can be polygynous at times.

Both the breeding pairs build their nest like a family. Two to four eggs are laid by the female in the nest after mating, and both the parent birds incubate the eggs.

Chicks hatch from the eggs after 20-31 days and are fed by both parent birds till they are old enough to fly. This juvenile Ring-Billed Gull or immature Ring-Billed Gull is brown or gray with a pink bill and legs during its first two years.

What is their conservation status?

Ring-billed gulls' status is that of ‘Least Concern’ as they are highly adaptable and do not have any immediate threats, as a result of which their population has been increasing.

Ring-Billed Gull Fun Facts

What do ring-billed gulls look like?

Ring-billed gull birds are medium-sized, and male gull birds are larger than female gull birds. The back and shoulders of this breeding adult bird appear to be pale gray, whereas the head, tail, and bottom are white. But the non-breeding adults have brown markings on their heads.

They have enormous wings with black tips and white patches on those black tips. This bird has a yellow bill with a black ring around it. The eyes are yellow and surrounded by red rims, and the legs are also yellow.

A ring-billed gull on a beach.

How cute are they?

These birds look very cute and fluffy with their white head and silvery-grayish body. Their short bill and long black-tipped wings with white spots make their overall look very appealing.

How do they communicate?

Gulls interact with each other by making loud calls and by body gestures. They have high-pitched 'kree, kree' calls and loud 'kyow kyow' calls that are considered warning calls.

During breeding activities and while feeding chicks, they make a Ring-Billed Gull sound that sounds like 'mew'. Ring-billed gulls toss their heads back when they are aggressive. When they are submissive, they put their heads in a hunched position and make a brief, high-pitched 'klioo' sound.

How big is a ring-billed gull?

A ring-billed gull's length ranges from 16.9-21.3 in. It's larger than a sparrow but smaller than a Herring gull.

How fast can a ring-billed gull fly?

Most of these gulls fly at a speed of 15-28 mph (24-32 kph). They don't fly very high. Some similar species are found to fly at about 50-125 ft high, and it is believed that a ring-billed gull flying will also be in this range.

How much does a ring-billed gull weigh?

A ring-billed gull's weight range is between 0.7-1.5 lb.

What are the male and female names of the species?

They do not have any specific names for the male and female species. They are known as male ring-billed gulls and female Ring-Billed gulls, respectively.

What would you call a baby ring-billed gull?

The babies of ring-billed gulls are known as nestlings. They hatch from the incubated eggs in the nests inside the nesting colonies and become independent in about five weeks.

What do they eat?

This species is an omnivore, but it likes to eat a wide variety of food items. They will eat anything like fish, eggs, rodents, fruits, grains, and insects.

They scavenge garbage food from garbage dumps, plowed fields, and landfills. This species' specially modified short bill helps them pick up a wide range of food items. One peculiar ring-billed gull behavior is that they steal food from other birds.

Are they dangerous?

These Gulls may bite or pick if we get too close to them or their nesting colonies. It is just a defense mechanism for them and doesn't mean they are aggressive. Their frequent collisions with aircraft could be dangerous, resulting in the aircraft being crashed.

Would they make a good pet?

There is no information on ring-billed gulls being adopted as a pet. These birds like to live in colonies and fly in the open sky. Keeping them caged might likely make the bird feel isolated and aggressive. Hence it is not suggested to have them as pets.

Did you know...

Herring Gull vs Ring-Billed Gull: These two are similar species, but you can make out their different features if you look closely. Ring-Billed Gulls are smaller and more delicate when compared to Herring Gulls.

Breeding Ring-Billed Gulls have yellow legs and a black-colored ring around their bill, but breeding Herring Gulls have pink feet and a red mark on the lower bill.

How do you tell the difference between a male and female ring-billed gull?

It is said that female Ring-Billed Gulls are smaller than male Ring-Billed Gulls. A study showed that male gulls devoted more territorial time than females. But both of the parents contribute equally to feeding and defending their chicks.

How can you tell a black-kegged Kittiwake from a ring-billed gull?

The length of the black-legged Kittiwake is almost similar to that of the ring-billed gull. However, the wingspan of the ring-billed gull is much larger, about 48 in, compared to the black-legged Kittiwake, which is only 36 in.

The legs and feet are yellow for ring-billed gulls and black for black-legged Kittiwakes. The wingtips of black-legged Kittiwakes are black without any white spots, whereas for ring-billed gulls, the wingtips are black with white spots on them.

The bill of breeding ring-billed hulls is yellow with a black ring around it, and the bill of black-legged Kittiwake is yellow without any markings. Breeding ring-billed gulls have pale iris, whereas black-legged Kittiwake has a dark iris.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the blue-winged teal or Blackburnian warbler.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our ring-billed gull coloring pages.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

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Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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Fact-checked by Diya Patel

Bachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

Diya Patel picture

Diya PatelBachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

A member of Kidadl's fact-checking team, Diya is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science from Ahmedabad University with an interest in exploring other fields. As part of her degree, she has taken classes in communications and writing to expand her knowledge and skills.

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