The European herring gull (Larus argentatus) is a large gull (up to 26 in (66 cm) long). One of the best known of all gulls along the shores of western Europe, it was once abundant. It breeds across Northern Europe, Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern 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 Ireland, Britain, Iceland, or on the North Sea shores. European herring gulls have a varied diet, including fish, crustaceans and dead animals as well as some plants. While herring gull numbers appear to have been increasing in recent years, possibly by fish population increases and lack of competition, they have proved able to thrive in human-adapted areas and can often be seen in towns in very large numbers and is overpopulating.
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