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

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


Size: 42-46 cm

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: Very rare vagrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)

Past accepted records in our database:

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.