Black-headed Gull

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Malay Name: Camar-Topeng Erasia

Chinese Name: 红嘴鸥

Range: Found from Europe to Asia and eastern Canada wintering to northern Africa, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, southern China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia and eastern North America

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 35-39 cm

Identification: Non-breeding adult has mostly white head with prominent dark ear spots, white nape and underparts, pale grey mantle, dark eyes, reddish bill with black tip and dark red legs/feet. Breeding adult has dark brown hood with broken white eyering and darker red bill. First winter bird resembles non-breeding adult but has duller bill and legs, buff-brown markings on upperwings and blackish subterminal tail-band.

Similar looking species: Brown-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull

Habitat: Mudflat and other coastal habitats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on varied food items such as aquatic and terrestrial insects, earthworms, marine invertebrates, some fish, grains and berries.

Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak week Jan 01-Jan 07
Early date 13 Nov 1986
Late date 15 Feb 1992
Most common gull in Singapore, but still a rare species which is recorded very infrequently. Most recent records have fallen from mid-Dec to mid-Jan.


BirdLife International. (2018). Larus ridibundus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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