Brown-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 brunnicephalus

Malay Name: Camar-Topeng Asia

Chinese Name: 棕头鸥

Range: Found from central Asia to northern China, wintering to Indian subcontinent, southern China and mainland Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 42-46 cm

Identification: Breeding/non-breeding adult and juvenile resembles Black-headed Gull but is larger, bulkier and thicker-billed with pale eyes. In flight, shows distinctive broadly black-tipped outer primaries.

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

Habitat: Mudflat and other coastal habitats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Rests on mudflats with Black-headed Gull as well as terns and other shorebirds. Often rests buoyantly on the sea.

Local Status: Vagrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Records currently under review are also not displayed. For a full list, click here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):


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

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

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