More numerous but less common, the medium sized "Ring-billed Gull" is similar to the Herring Gull, but smaller. This gull sports greenish legs and feet and frequents inland garbage dumps, parking lots and southern coastal beaches in winter.
Young birds are mottled brown with a narrow blackish tail band. Their legs are flesh colored. They reach adult plumage in three years.
The "Ring-billed Gull" nests in very large colonies, as many as 85,000 pairs, in several different areas the United States: the Northwest, northern Great Plains, Great Lakes and New England. It shares is breeding grounds with other gulls and terns.
Calls or song.
The call of the "Ring-billed" is long, hoarse and low-pitched, "kah-keeeee-aaaah", terminating in"keeaah" or "kah" notes. They 'mew' during courtship.
Population and distribution.
This species of gull was almost decimated between 1850 and 1920, but has made a spectacular comeback as one of the continent's most common and familiar bird. It is a cold weather seashore visitor in the northern part of the U.S., but also winters, in salt water, in the deep south.
Seeking out islands in large lakes and rivers, the "Ring-billed Gull" lays two to four buff or olive eggs in a hollow in the ground, which it lines with grass or debris. Sometimes in the North, they will nest in a low tree.