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The Ring-Billed Gull is a medium-sized gull that is often called the "sea gull." This bird used to be quite abundant, and was called the Common American Gull. It was killed for its feathers (mostly used in hats), but has now recovered from a drastic decline in population numbers; it may be the most abundant gull in North America. This sea bird is found along ocean and lake coasts of North America. The life span is about 10 to 15 years. These water birds make a high-pitched squawking sound and a ky-eow sound.

Anatomy: The Ring-Billed Gull is about 18 to 21 inches (45-53 cm) long with a 20 inch (50 cm) wingspan. It weighs about 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg). Adults (who mature at three years of age) are mostly white; juveniles are a mottled brown.

Diet: Ring-Billed Gulls are carnivores (meat-eaters) who hunt in the sea. They eat fish (including smelt), earthworms, insects, small rodents (like mice), and even roadkill.

Predators: Predators of the ring-billed gull include the coyote, fox, raccoon, dog, mink, rat, great-horned owl, and others.

Reproduction: Like all gulls, the ring-billed gull is a colonial breeder; it nests along inland lakes and along the seacoast with hundreds of other gulls. Females lay 3 buff-colored eggs in each clutch. Nests are made of grass and plant stalks.

Classification: Kingdom Animalia (animals), Phylum Chordata (animals with a notochord), Subphylum Vertebrata (vertebrates), Class Aves (birds), Family Laridae (gulls and terns), Genus and species Larus delawarensis.

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