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Last updated: 21 January 2011

Gulls are small to large seabirds, many of which also live inland for some of the year. They have long, slim wings and fly exceptionally well, but also have strong legs, which give them reasonably good mobility on the ground.

They swim buoyantly and often resort to water to roost at night. They are predominantly grey, black and white with some brown markings.

Most gulls are ground nesting carnivores, and are attracted to live food or scavenge opportunistically. The live food often includes crabs and small fish. Gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing far out to sea.

The large species take up to four years to gain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls.

During winter a range of gulls can be seen in a variety of places including rubbish tips and housing estates.

There are over 40 species of gull in existence with around 11 regularly found in the UK.

Here in Wales we have large populations of gulls. Flat Holm Island in the Bristol Channel has a significant breeding colony of over 4,000 pairs of lesser black-backed gull, 400 pairs of herring gull, two pairs of great black-backed gull.

At the height of the nesting season (June and July), it's not uncommon to be mobbed by gulls if you walk too close to a nest site - so take a hat and keep to the paths.

Sign up for a free Flickr account or login to see photos of gulls taken around Wales by our members.

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