Herring Gulls showing pair-bonding behavior

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed an increase in adult European Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) in my home town (Leiden, The Netherlands).

They are returning from their wintering grounds to meet up with their partner (or to get acquainted with a new partner) in preparation for the breeding season.

At various locations today, I noticed pair-bonding display in the form of mew-calling, long-calling and choking. I managed to capture 2 scenes of a single pair:

I like the way they walk parallel next to each other while mew-calling, something that I also observed in Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Larus fuscus) last year:

It won’t be long before the Lesser Black-backed Gulls will also start to arrive in high numbers here to join the Herring Gulls for the breeding season.

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2 thoughts on “Herring Gulls showing pair-bonding behavior

  1. What are the Herring Gulls doing at 1:15 (and onwards)? Is that some sort of regurgitating motion? I’ve never seen that before in gulls – though I know that parrots will do something similar when pairing up.

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