Herring gull

scientific name: Larus argentatus
Herring gull nest with three eggs
Photo: UPB-Projektgruppe Trier

Inshore, the herring gull mainly feeds from the sea: upon fish, mussels, and crabs.

Herring gulls are common at the German North and the Baltic Sea coast. Here they feed mainly on fish, mussels and crustaceans and are secondary respectively tertiary consumers and top predators in the marine food web. During breeding time they feed in close-by areas and their eggs are excellent indicators for pollution loads in the direct vicinity of breeding colonies. Herring gulls eggs arre frequently used monitoring species because they are easily available and identifiable and not protected by any legal restrictions.

The herring gull eggs are used as specimen.

Sampling takes place once a year during the nesting season.

For more information about the specimen, the sampling and the processing of samples see the Guideline for Sampling and Sample Processing Herring gull (Larus argentatus).

Target organs/Matrices

  • Egg content
    Eggs are suited as accumulation indicators and mirror the contamination of the breeding females. The shell protects the egg contents and inhibits a contamination of the sample.
  • Egg
    The whole egg is only biometrical described. Please switch to data search sample descriptions.

Sampling area


Sampling period

1988 - 2023

Extended information

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