The European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) is a large gull (up to 26 inches or 66 cm long), and is the most abundant and best known of all gulls along the shores of western Europe. It breeds across Northern Europe, Western Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic states. Some European Herring Gulls, especially those resident in colder areas, migrate further south in winter, but many are permanent residents, e.g. in the British Isles, Iceland, or on the North Sea shores. European Herring Gulls are also abundant around inland garbage dumps, and some have even adapted to life in inland cities.
The male European Herring Gull is 60–66 cm (24–26 in) long and weighs 1050-1250 grams (2.3-2.8 lb) while the female is 55–62 cm (22-24.5 in) and weighs 800-980 grams (1.8-2.2 lb). The wingspan is 137–150 cm (54–59 in). Adults in breeding plumage have a grey back and upperwings and white head and underparts. The wingtips are black with white spots known as "mirrors" . The bill is yellow with a red spot and there is a ring of bare yellow skin around the pale eye. The legs are normally pink at all ages but can be yellowish, particularly in the Baltic population which was formerly regarded as a separate subspecies "L. a. omissus". Non-breeding adults have brown streaks on the head and neck. Male and female plumage is identical at all stages of development, however adult males are often larger.