Ring-billed Gull
(Larus delawarensis)


Picture of bird
© Jukka Jantunen
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Ring-billed Gull breeds across much of Canada and the northern United States. Its breeding range continues to expand into northern Canada. The Breeding Bird Survey suggests that the species has exhibited a large increase in abundance in Canada since about 1970. Because it frequently overlaps with areas of intensive development, the species is exposed to a variety of anthropogenic threats.


Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least Concern2012 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2010 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaLarge IncreaseHigh

Population estimate

Canada> 1,000,000 breeding birds

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation of world population


Conservation and management

This species frequently feeds in garbage dumps, where entanglement and ingestion of plastics can be problematic. Where abundant populations of Ring-billed Gull have caused conflicts with humans, management to control the species has occurred (Morris et al. 2011). Accounts from the 1960s and 1970s documented potentially harmful burdens of organochlorine contaminants (e.g., Sileo et al. 1977, Gilbertson and Reynolds 1974). Although levels of some contaminants have since declined (Ryckman et al. 2005), others remain at potentially harmful levels in gulls of the Great Lakes.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type