Little Gull

Hydrocoloeus minutus

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4

LIGU

Code 6

LARMIN

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Little Gull has a large range, estimated globally at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas, Europe, and Asia, this bird prefers wetland and marine ecosystems, though it can live in wastewater treatment or water storage areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 570,000 to 1,700,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Little Gull is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Little Gull: The smallest of all gulls, with pale gray upperparts and white nape, neck, breast, belly, and tail. Hood is black and extends onto upper neck. Underwings are dark. Bill is dark red with black tip. Legs and feet are red-orange. Strong direct flight with deep wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

Little Gull: Breeds in central Europe east to southern Siberia. In recent years, breeds locally in Ontario and Wisconsin; winters regularly in small numbers in eastern North America, especially along coast from New Brunswick to New Jersey and on Great Lakes. Preferred habitats include estuaries, lakes, and coasts.

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Little Gull SONGS AND CALLS

Little Gull P1

Call is a repeated nasal "kek".

Little Gull Q1

"Ke-kay-ke-kay" calls during a display flight.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The first record of the Little Gull in North America was in 1819, but the first nest was not discovered until 1962.
  • In North America it is most frequently observed during winter and on migration in groups of one to three, usually associated with larger flocks of Bonaparte's Gulls.
  • It is the only gull that breeds both in the Caribbean and in the North Atlantic Ocean.
  • A group of gulls has many collective nouns, including a "flotilla", "gullery", "screech", "scavenging", and "squabble" of gulls.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X