Ring-billed Gull: Medium gull with gray upperparts and white underparts. Head is white and bill is yellow with black ring near tip. Wings are gray above, tipped black with white spots, and white below. Yellow legs and feet. Strong direct flight on deep wing beats, soars on thermals.
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.
In the late 19th century, this bird was hunted for its plumage. Its population has since rebounded and it is probably the most common gull in North America.
The Ring-billed Gull is sometimes called the "fast food gull" because it often hangs around fast food restaurants scavenging for food.
Young gulls tested at only two days of age showed a preference for magnetic bearings that would take them in the appropriate direction for their fall migration.
A group of gulls has many collective nouns, including a "flotilla", "gullery", "screech", "scavenging", and "squabble" of gulls.