Ring-billed Gull

Larus delawarensis




Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Olive to brown with lavender, gray and brown marks.

Number of Eggs:

2 - 4

Incubation Days:

21 - 28

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground, occasionally in low tree.

Nest Material:

Made of weeds, debris, and grass.





Ring-billed Gull: Medium-sized gull; gray upperparts; white underparts and head; yellow bill with black ring near tip. Wings are gray above, tipped black with white spots; white below. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has fine brown markings on head and nape. Juvenile has brown streaks on crown, nape and upper breast; dark terminal band on brown-splattered white tail; dark bill. First winter shows gray on back and upperwings; has pink bill with black tip. Second winter resembles winter adult; retains black-tipped pink bill and black band on tail.

Range and Habitat

Ring-billed Gull: Breeds locally south to California, northern Great Plains, and southern prairie provinces of Canada, Great Lakes region, Canadian Maritimes, and northern New England. Spends winters on coasts, rivers, and lakes from southern New England south to Cuba, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, and from British Columbia to southern Mexico.

Breeding and Nesting

Ring-billed Gull: Two to four olive to brown eggs marked with lavender, gray and brown are laid in a hollow on the ground, sometimes lined with grass or debris; nests in colonies, often with other gulls or terns, usually on islands in lakes. Incubation ranges from 21 to 28 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Ring-billed Gull: These gulls are mostly scavengers, but will also eat fish, insects, small aquatic animals, earthworms, rodents, bird chicks and eggs, sometimes grasshoppers, and grain. They frequent landfills, garbage dumps, plowed fields, and parking lots; they follow ships for refuse dumped overboard. They forage on the ground or snatch food from the water surface while in flight.


Ring-billed Gull: Call is a screeched "kree, kree" or a shrill "kyow-kyow-kyow."

Similar Species

Ring-billed Gull: Herring Gull is larger with thicker bill that lacks black ring. California Gull is larger and has a red spot near the tip of lower mandible.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Terminal bandX
Refers to the contrasting stripe at the tip of the tail.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X