A Great Black-backed Gull the largest member of the gull family takes in a view of the Shrewsbury River from a pile off Bellevue Place in Sea Bright yesterday afternoon.
Here are a few “cool facts” about Great Black-backed Gulls from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
The Great Black-backed Gull is one of the many species whose feathers were used for fashionable clothing in the 1800s. After the demise of the feather trade in the early 1900s, Great Black-backed Gull populations increased and the species spread farther south. The exploitation of human refuse undoubtedly has contributed to the successful spread of the species.
Young Great Black-backed Gulls do not fly away from the nest area until they are about 50 days old. They return to the nesting territory to rest and be fed for another 50 days. Some young may remain with their parents for months after leaving the breeding colony, but most join congregations of other immature gulls in places where food is easy to find.
In winter, large numbers of young Great Black-backed Gulls eat fish driven to the surface by humpback whales.