Ring-billed Gull

Larus delawarensis (Ord, 1815) IN RIBGU 5890
Family: Charadriiformes > Laridae

Ring-billed Gull, Simon Gillings

A little larger than Common Gull, the Ring-billed Gull is a scarce visitor to the UK from North America.

Ring-billed Gull was added to the British List in 1973, when one was seen on Blackpill Beach, Swansea on 14 March. Many more Ring-billed Gulls have been seen since then and, although still a scarce visitor to Britain, they can turn up in any month of the year.

Ireland and the western half of the Britain hold the lion’s share of records, though a decline in the North American breeding population has seen a decline in new arrivals to our shores.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Ring-billed Gull


Ring-billed Gull identification is sometimes difficult.

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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.


We have no population estimates for this scarce species.


This species is a rare vagrant and was recorded during Bird Atlas 2007–11 as shown on the map.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK


This vagrant has been recorded in several atlases so we have been able to map distribution changes. However, as a rarity these may not show a consistent pattern of change.


Ring-billed Gull is a rare vagrant, usually recorded in winter and often involving birds returning to the same area in consecutive winters.

Weekly occurence of Ring-billed Gull from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.

Foreign locations of birds ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland

Foreign locations of Ring-billed Gull ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland
Encountered in: Winter (Nov-Feb); Spring (Mar-Apr); Summer (May-Jul); Autumn (Aug-Oct)


Lifecycle and body size information about Ring-billed Gull, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.


Sample sizes are too small to report Productivity and Nesting statistics for this species.


Sample sizes are too small to report Biometrics for this species.

Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Welsh: Gwylan Fodrwybig
Catalan: gavina de Delaware
Czech: racek kroužkozobý
Danish: Ringnæbbet Måge
Dutch: Ringsnavelmeeuw
Estonian: vöötnokk-kajakas
Finnish: rengasnokkalokki
French: Goéland à bec cerclé
German: Ringschnabelmöwe
Hungarian: gyuruscsoru sirály
Icelandic: Hringmáfur
Irish: Faoileán Bandghobach
Italian: Gavina americana
Latvian: gredzenknabja kaija
Lithuanian: žieduotasnapis kiras
Norwegian: Ringnebbmåke
Polish: mewa delawarska
Portuguese: gaivota-de-bico-riscado
Slovak: cajka obrúckozobá
Slovenian: progastokljuni galeb
Spanish: Gaviota de Delaware
Swedish: ringnäbbad mås

Links to more information from ConservationEvidence.com

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