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Charadriiformes > Laridae

Little Gull

Hydrocoloeus minutus

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Identification

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Smallest gull in the world. Compact with short legs, short rounded wings, and small bill. Breeding adults have black head, pale gray back, white wingtips, and blackish underwings. Nonbreeding adults have a black ear patch and smudgy cap. Immatures are similar to nonbreeding adults but with a black “M”-shaped pattern on the upperwing, especially noticeable in flight. When perched, this looks like a thick horizontal stripe across the wing and shoulder. Primarily a Eurasian species, breeding in marshy wetlands and wintering offshore or in coastal waters. Uncommon to rare in North America, where typically found singly among flocks of Bonaparte’s Gulls on lakes, beaches, estuaries, or bays. Note adult Little Gull's smaller size, white wingtips, dark underwings, and more rounded wings compared to Bonaparte's.

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Little Gull

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