- Larus argentatus
Includes: Vega Gull and American Herring Gull
55-66cm (21¾-26 in)
- Grey back and upperwings
- White head
- White below
- Black wing tips with white spots
- Bare yellow eye ring
- Yellow bill with red spot
- Pink legs
Non Breeding Adult
- Brown streaks on head and neck
- Brown with dark streaks
- Dark bill
- Dark iris
- Whiter head and underparts
- Grey back
Many large gulls including Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull. It commonly hybridises with many of these. Common Gull / Short-billed Gull is smaller with a plain bill, darker mantle and larger white wedge in the outer primaries.
European Herring Gull
Breeds widely across Northern Europe from Iceland and the Faroes to northern Scandinavia and Arctic Russia, reaching south to the British Isles and France east to Germany, Poland, Belarus and the Baltic States. Has recently been recorded breeding in a Yellow-legged Gull colony in northern Spain.
Mainly resident or dispersive, except in north Norway, the Baltic, Finland and northern Russia where migratory. Widespread in winter in Western and Central Europe. Has bred on Svalbard and Bear Island.
American Herring Gull
Herring gull taxonomy is confused and confusing. Thus, Vega Gull and American Herring Gull are treated as full species by some authorities.
Gill and Donsker and Christidis et al. accept three species, with L. a. mongolicus as a subspecies of Vega Gull. Burger et al.  recognize two species, with American, Vega and Mongolian Gulls lumped under the name "Arctic Herring Gull."
Clements accepts five subspecies in four groups:
- American Herring Gull
- L. a. smithsonianus in northern North America, winters south to Central America
- Vega Gull or East Siberian Gull
- Mongolian Gull
- European Herring Gull:
Breeds mainly along rocky coastlines on cliffs, stacks and islands, in some areas on buildings or on flatter areas of shore and in others at inland lakes. Mainly coastal when not breeding but increasingly in urban areas and on farmland. Abundant at refuse-tips and around fishing harbours.
They are scavengers; they will also take eggs and young birds.
They are colony nesters. 2-4 olive eggs are laid on the ground or cliff ledges and are incubated for 28-30 days.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Brazil, M. (2009). Birds of East Asia. Princeton Univ. Press.
- Christidis et al. 2014. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World, version 4.1 (Downloadable checklist). Accessed 28 August 2018 from https://www.howardandmoore.org/
- Gill, F & D Donsker (Eds). 2018. IOC World Bird List (v8.2). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.8.2. Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
- Collinson, J.M., Parkin, D.T., Knox, A.G., Sangster, G. & Svensson, L. (2008) Species boundaries in the Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gull complex. Brit. Birds 101(7): 340–363.
- Burger, J., Gochfeld, M., Kirwan, G.M., Christie, D.A. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2018). European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53982 on 27 August 2018).
- Howell, S.N.G. and Dunn, J. (2007) A Reference Guide to the Gulls of the Americas. Peterson Field Guides, New York.
- Malling Olsen, K. & Larsson, H. (2003) Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Christopher Helm, London.
- Nisbet, I. C. T., D. V. Weseloh, C. E. Hebert, M. L. Mallory, A. F. Poole, J. C. Ellis, P. Pyle, and M. A. Patten (2017). Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), version 3.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.hergul.03
- Wikipedia contributors. (2018, July 21). Herring gull. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:05, August 28, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Herring_gull&oldid=851245816
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Herring Gull. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 6 December 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Herring_Gull
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