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The Ring-billed is a medium-sized gull with a fairly short, slim bill. When the gull perches, its long, slender wings extend well past its square-tipped tail. This gull takes three years to reach its breeding plumage; its appearance changes with each fall molt.
Ring-billed Gulls often congregate around humans, at garbage dumps, parking lots, and freshly plowed fields. While the species is common on coastal beaches, particularly during winter, many Ring-billed Gulls lead inland lives, never setting eyes on the sea.