This smallish gull is short-legged and short-billed. At rest, the tail is slightly notched. Alternate Adult: Medium gray mantle, with all-white head, tail, and underparts. The legs are short and black. Bill is all yellow. At close range, note the red eye ring and gape. Basic Adult: Blackish spot on auriculars, pale gray wash over nape. Legs may be brown or even reddish. Adult in flight: Underside of wings bright white. Wing tips are solid black above and below, as if the wings had been dipped in ink. First Cycle: Medium gray mantle with a conspicuous black carpal bar. There is a blackish patch on the auriculars, and a black collar around the back of the neck. The bill and legs are black. In flight, the black carpal bar and black leading edge of the wing form an M pattern. This pattern, combined with the somewhat triangular white trailing edge of the upper wing is suggestive of the wing pattern of Sabine's Gull at a distance. The tail has a black terminal band. Third Cycle: Like adult, but with increased black in outer primaries.
Length: 38 (cm) Wingspan: 93 (cm)
Near the nest site, gives a laughing kitti-weeak. Usually silent in winter.
Nests on sea cliffs, offshore rocks, abandoned buildings. Spends most of the winter at sea.
Flies with quick, stiff wingbeats. Handles strong winds better than most other gulls.
Feeds at sea.
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