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

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


Size: 35-39 cm

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)

Featured reports: Dec 2022

Past accepted records in our database:

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

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.