U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service



Victor E.F. Solman, Wildlife Biologist (retired), Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2A 2P1

Document Type Article


The term gull refers to members of a group of 23 North American bird species that belong to the family Laridae, subfamily Larinae. The herring (Larus argentatus) and ringbilled (L. delawarensis) gulls are the most common and widespread of the species. Most gulls nest in colonies on sand and gravel-covered shorelines and islands. Gulls feed on land or water on aquatic animals, terrestrial invertebrates and small vertebrates, plant remains, carrion, and refuse. Increasing gull populations in North America during the past century have led to a variety of problems for different segments of society.