Breeding Bird Atlas 1 Additional Accounts

Black-headed Gull


Larus ridibundus

The legacy of this species in Massachusetts is interesting in that the first specimen for North America was collected at Newburyport in 1930 and the first breeding attempt in the United States occurred at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in 1984 (Holt et al 1986). Following the appearance of a single territorial adult Black-headed Gull at Monomoy in 1983, a pair built a nest and produced two eggs the following season; however, the chicks eventually succumbed to exposure to heavy late-spring rains. No further evidence of nesting in Massachusetts has been obtained, although several subsequent nesting attempts have been recorded at Petit Manan, Maine.

The overall status of the Black-headed Gull in Massachusetts is that of a locally uncommon migrant and coastal winter visitor; it is very uncommon in summer and is rare inland.