Mew Gull

Larus canus

Description 4

Adult common gulls are 40–46 cm long, noticeably smaller than the herring gull, and slightly smaller than the ring-billed gull, also differing from the latter in its shorter, more tapered bill with a more greenish shade of yellow, as well as being unmarked during the breeding season. The body is grey above and white below. The legs are greenish-yellow. In winter, the head is streaked grey, and the bill often has a poorly defined blackish band near the tip (sometimes sufficiently obvious to cause confusion with ring-billed gull). They have black wingtips with large white "mirrors". Young birds have scaly black-brown upperparts and a neat wing pattern, and grey legs. They take two to three years to reach maturity. The call is a high-pitched "laughing" cry.

Biology 5

During winter, common gulls feed mainly on earthworms; they are often attracted to recently ploughed fields for this reason (7). At other times of the year they will also feeds on insects, fish, small mammals, carrion and rubbish (3) (6). They are often attracted to rubbish dumps in harsh winter weather (6).  The nest is built on the ground, on boulders, in low trees or on buildings, typically near water (2). Occasionally common gulls nest in groups with herring gulls, but they may also nest alone (6). Pairs produce between two and five eggs, which are incubated for up to 28 days. The chicks are fully fledged after a further 35 days (3). These gulls are relatively long-lived, with the maximum recorded life-span being 24 years (3).

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Kari Pihlaviita, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  2. (c) Kari Pihlaviita, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  3. (c) Gatis Gribusts, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  4. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  5. (c) Wildscreen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),

More Info

Range Map

iNatCA Map

Animal Bird
Color grey, white
Bird Laridae (gulls)