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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Black-headed Gull

Chroicocephalus ridibundus ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: LARIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common gull of the Old World, Black-headed Gull is a rare, but regular visitor to eastern North America.

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Appearance

Gulls
Gulls
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small gull.
  • White triangle in outer part of wing.
  • Blackish under tip of wing.
  • Back pale gray.
  • Underparts white.
  • Head dark brown during breeding.
  • Dark spot behind eyes in winter.

Immature Description

Juvenile with much brown on head, neck, and back, a dark bar across the wing, and a black tail tip. Immature similar to nonbreeding adult, but with brownish black bar across the base of the wing, much black in the outer wing, and a black band across the tip of the tail. In first breeding plumage the black head is partly mottled with white.

Range Map Help

Black-headed Gull Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

  • Adult nonbreeding

    Black-headed Gull

    Adult nonbreeding
    • © Keith Walton / CLO
  • First winter

    Black-headed Gull

    First winter
    • © 2004 Kevin J. McGowan

Similar Species

  • Bonaparte's Gull has a shorter and thinner black bill, and lacks blackish under the outer wing feathers.
  • Little Gull has a shorter and thinner black bill, blackish under all of the wing feathers, and lacks a white triangle on top of the wing.
  • Immature Black-legged Kittiwake shows a bolder "M" across the back and has a black line across the nape of its neck.