Status and Occurrence of Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) in British Columbia
by Rick Toochin and Don Cecile
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Introduction and Distribution
The Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) is found in the Old World from Iceland to Siberia (Olsen and Larsson 2004). The species winters from Europe, throughout the Mediterranean Sea, parts of North Africa, India, Southeast Asia to Japan (Olsen and Larsson 2004). In North America, the Black-headed Gull breeds locally in Newfoundland and Labrador (Dunn and Alderfer 2011). It occurs in numbers along the east coast of North America and with great frequency throughout the eastern states and provinces (Olsen and Larsson 2004). It is a very rare species in the mid-western states and provinces (Olsen and Larsson 2004). Alberta has only 1 recent accepted Provincial record (Hudon et al. 2014). Along the west coast of North America, the Black-headed Gull is a rare migrant in western Alaska in both the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea region (West 2008, Gibson et al. 2013). This species becomes much rarer the further east and south you travel in the state and is a casual visitor in southeastern Alaska (West 2008). In Washington State, there are 16 accepted records by the Washington Bird Records Committee (Wahl et al. 2005, WBRC 2012). There are only 3 accepted records in Oregon by the Oregon Rare birds Committee (OFO 2012). The species is also quite a rarity in California where there are only 22 accepted state records by the California Bird Records Committee (Hamilton et al. 2007, Tietz and McCaskie 2014).
In British Columbia, the Black-headed Gull is a casually occurring species with just over 20 records for the province (Campbell et al. 1990b, Toochin et al. 2014a, see Table 1). The Black-headed Gull is accidental in Cuba, Trinidad, Surinam, French Guiana and Hawaii (Hamilton et al. 2007).