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Black-headed Gull

Black-headed Gull
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-01-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM, RAW ISO 400, Canon EF 2x Extender II
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-11 13:01
Viewed: 3434
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An adult Black-headed Gull in winter plumage at Westcliff-on-Sea.

From Birdguides:

Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

In: Black-headed Gull Ca: Gavina vulgar Da: Hættemåge De: Lachmöwe Es: Gaviota reidora Fi: naurulokki Fr: Mouette rieuse It: Gabbiano comune Nl: Kokmeeuw No: Hettemåke Pt: Guincho Sv: Skrattmås US: Black-headed Gull Ru: Озерная чайка

Novice birdwatchers are often perplexed when they see gulls in winter with mostly white heads which are called Black-headed Gulls, then even more puzzled when you explain that in summer the heads actually become brown, although they often look black from a distance. In summer plumage, the dark hood only just covers the face and doesn't go down the nape as in the other dark-headed gulls. In winter plumage you have to look carefully at the distribution of black on the head and compare it with the dark eye-mask of a Mediterranean Gull and the sooty skull-cap of a Little Gull. Black-headed Gulls in all plumages have a white forewing, making a triangular white panel in the leading edge of the primaries.

Breeds on coastal and inland marshes, moorland and gravel pits. Winters on estuaries, lakes, reservoirs, coasts and rubbish tips.

The dark hood which develops in summer is a symbol of aggression, so that two competing males will face each other to show as much of the hood as possible. However, to reduce aggression between members of the same pair, they have developed ritualistic displays in which the head is suddenly turned away so the partner only sees the white of the back of the neck.

Except in Ireland where there is only a little dispersal, most European birds migrate to the south or south-west for the winter.

rousettus, Dis. Ac., crs, siggi, marhowie, CeltickRanger, Adanac has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Pekka
this is very beautiful Laughing "ridibundus" Gull. As you know, its English vernacular name means black head; however it has dark brown head in breeding season:) You captured it with a great shot. Focus, POV/OOF, white exposure very nice. Composition also nice. Thanks for sharing, good night my friend

Hello Pekka,

nice pov and pose from the bird.
Good details and even in the white feathers.
Beautiful colours.


  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2009-01-11 21:54]

Hallo Pekka,

You have taken this photo from a very good, low POV. The bird is well shown from a nice perspective. Tje image is very sharp showing well the bird and good details of the plumage. It is very nice how the sharply shown bird stays against the blurry background.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-01-11 22:26]

Hello Pekka,
A fine winter plumage capture of L. ridibundus taken from a great low lateral POV on the beach with fine sharpness and lighting and the raised foot is a bonus.
TFS this fine portrait,

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-01-12 0:31]

Hello Pekka.
Elegant shot of this wonderful gull. I like everything especially perfect reproduction of white feathers and exactness of the shapes. Bravo. Best regards Siggi

Hi Pekka,
Great exposure, color, DOF, details, and low POV..
Well composed, nice leg up pose as the gull looks towards the sea :)
Well done!

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2009-01-12 10:43]

Hello Pekka,
Photo very well composed, low POV, good light and sharpness.
Regards, Pawel

Ciao Pekka, lovely gull in standing pose, good details and wonderful sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

hello Pekka

beautiful close-up photo of the Black-headed Gull
shot with fine low POV and also fine framing,
excellent sharpness and details, i love his feets pose, TFS


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2009-01-12 19:27]

Hello Pekka,
Excellent composition with this gorgeous gull working the surf line. Your camera work has revelled good details and the colors are great also, thank you Pekka.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-01-12 20:16]

Pekka, So white and bright. beautiful view and good composition. Color tones are nice here. Ganesh

hello pekka,
fine capture of the black headed gull, the composition is pleasing and the pov is suitable, good details of the plumage,
well done,
tfs & regards

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