Small dainty gull. Dark-eyed, long-winged, and with a rounded head. Breeding adults are white-headed with an unmarked bill; non-breeding adults are smudged on the head and bill. Younger birds are brownish, with black-tipped pink bills. Subspecies vary; North American "brachyrhynchus" is the smallest, and Russian "kamtschatschensis" the largest. Breeds in wetlands, meadows, and beaches; winters in waterside habitats and fields. Does not frequent large urban centers as much as some other gulls.