A medium-sized, pale-gray-backed gull of coastal waters and human settlements. Breeding birds have dark eyes and a very faint chalky-gray hood, which non-breeding birds lack. This adaptable omnivore is the commonest gull of the Benguela Current, but its penchant for eating offal means it is expanding its range eastwards. The similar Gray-hooded Gull differs from Hartlaub’s Gull by being larger, having a yellowish-white eye, a longer redder bill, and a discrete grayish hood in breeding plumage. Immature Gray-hooded Gulls have a black terminal tail band which juvenile Hartlaub’s Gulls lack.