A stocky, medium-sized, four-year gull. Relatively long yellow legs and long, straight-edged, yellow bill with black ring and red tip. Dark eye. Adult: White underparts; slaty-black upperparts. Nonbreeding are dark-hooded with white eye arks. White head in breeding plumage contrasts with smoky-gray wash on collar and chest. Wings all dark above. Ashy-gray underwings blend with whiter base. Secondaries have white trailing edge. Broad black tail-band bordered by narrow white stripe. Black-tailed Gull is smaller than Belcher's, with shorter legs, a paler mantle, and wider white tip of tail. Third-cycle: Similar to adult; brownish wash on wings. Second-cycle: Breeding plumage similar to adult but with browner wings and dark chest; nonbreeding suggests first-cycle, but more uniform above. Juvenile/ First-cycle: Mostly brown upperparts; dark head and chest with white belly. Drab pinkish-yellow legs. First-cycle Black-tailed Gull is browner with pink legs and pink, black-tipped bill.
Length: 51 (cm) Wingspan: 124 (cm)
Found near the coast at harbors, along rocky coasts, or sandy beaches.
Colonies nest on inshore islands. Found in fairly small flocks elsewhere. Feeds by scavenging on beaches or on water's surface; may steal food or associate with flocks of seabirds.
Feeds on fish, seabird chicks and eggs, clams, and virtually anything it can scavenge or steal.
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