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Hybridisation in gulls occurs quite frequently, although to varying degrees depending on the species involved.
Hybrid large white-headed gulls
- Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull interbreed to a limited degree where their ranges overlap, producing birds of intermediate appearance, which could be confused with Yellow-legged Gulls.
- Western Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull hybridise extensively in western North America. Evidence of genetic influence of each upon the other is found throughout the range of both species.
Hybrids among the small hooded gulls
- The most common hybrid found among gulls in Europe is between Black-headed Gull and Mediterranean Gull. Hybrids of this combination are occasionally reported on the northwestern edge of the breeding range of Mediterranean Gull.
- Birds have also been reported in Europe which have been suspected of being Mediterranean Gull × Common Gull hybrids; one such bird gull seen in Lincolnshire in 2002 (Tarrant 2002)
- A bird seen in December 2001 at Belhaven Bay, Lothian, and present each winter since (until at least 2005/6) is believed to be a hybrid between Black-headed and Common Gulls (Gillon 2006)
- Tarrant, Mike (2002) An apparent hybrid gull in Lincolnshire Birding World Vol. 15 No. 6 p247
- Gillon, Keith (2006) An apparent hybrid gull at Belhaven Bay, Lothian Birding Scotland Vol. 9 No. 2 p92
Bird Hybrids Database
You can search for specific laridae hybrids at:
Enter the name of the gull species in the query box and click on the hybrids for specific references.