Chocolate Brown-Headed Gull would have been more of a mouthful, but more accurate, at least in the spring and summer. Now the colouring is reduced to just a couple of dark spots. Their latin/scientific name means “Laughing Gull”, a reference to their familiar call. They’re a gregarious bird, but with some odd interaction with other Black-Headed Gulls: they may lay their eggs in another’s nest, and may eat another’s chicks. During the early 19th century they were actually quite rare, but a population explosion in the following century saw their breeding population rise to over 100,000 pairs. They were also rare inland, but now they’re the gull we see most in Otley, and can even be seen in central London.
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