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Mediterranean Gull

Ichthyaetus melanocephalus


This is a small gull, about 35 to 40 cm in length, mainly white, with a very pale grey mantle. In breeding regalia, adults acquire a black hoods, and from far away they may resemble the Black-headed gulls. However, there are some differences - hoods sported by adults of this species are purely black, not chocolate brown, and are longer, they cover the entire necks. Moreover, they sport conspicuous white crescents around eyes. Moreover, they bills are shorter and stubbier, and of blood-red colour. Legs are also red.


This is not a native gull - it's been said it originated from around the Black Sea, but today is commonly found also in all coastal areas of Mediterranean and european coast on Atlantic. During our stay in Brittany this summer, we were almost desperately looking for these ones everywhere we went, but finally observed them only once, foraging in an intertidal zone, on a sandy beach in a small down on northern coast.


When we changed our holiday plans and decided to go and visit Brittany, one of my hopes was to learn more about gulls, terns and Laridae family; and see some species I have never encountered before... As it came out, in my opinion, Brittany is a perfect spot for that - there are 33 species belonging to Laridae family registered, 19 of them regular. Even though we missed Kittiwakes and many ternes, we enjoyed discovering Greater and Lesser black backed; Herring and Mediterranean gulls, ternes...

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Zlatan Celebic
Spotted by
Zlatan Celebic

Ploumilliau, Bretagne, France

Spotted on Jul 9, 2020
Submitted on Aug 6, 2020

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