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Facts about the Great Black-Backed Seagull

Great Black-Backed Seagull - Larus marinus

Seagull standing on pole




Approx. 20 years


Length: 27.9-31.1 inch. Or 71-79 cm

Weight: 45.9-70.5 oz. Or 1300-2000 g

Wingspan: 57.5-63.0 inch. Or 146-160 cm


Adults have white feathers with dark gray backs and upper wings. They have a pointy yellow beak with a dark red spot.

Gull chicks are spotted black and white. They are capable of flight after 7-8 weeks.

Fun Facts:

  • Seagulls are the state bird of Utah. They once helped the state overcome a cricket plague.

  • Seagulls can drink salt and freshwater. They have glands above their eyes that sift out salt.

  • Seagulls can recognize people’s faces, especially those that interact or feed them.


Coastal areas, seagulls nest on rocky cliffs or islands. They can be found in North America and Europe, near marine ecosystems.

U.S. States:

All 50. There are an estimated one million seagulls in the United States.


Great Black-backed seagulls are aggressive birds known for their bold scavenging behavior, and even stealing each other's prey. They are known to attack any and all smaller prey. Black-backed seagulls will eat anything they can swallow.


fish, crustaceans, mollusks, seabirds, small mammals, and anything they can put down their gullet.


Effective strategies to remove and keep seagulls away from businesses and property include: Grid Wire Systems, Shock Deterrents, Sound devices and birds spikes. All are available from


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