Black-tailed Gull

Larus crassirostris




Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Green to brown with dark spots

Number of Eggs:

2 - 3

Incubation Days:

24 - 27

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

ledges, slopes, and small cliffs hidden by vegetation.

Nest Material:

dry grass





Black-tailed Gull: Large gull with white head, neck, breast, and underparts; light charcoal-gray wings and back; large yellow bill with black ring above red tip; pale yellow eyes with red orbital ring; short yellow legs and feet; long wings; telltale short black tail with white edge.

Range and Habitat

Black-tailed Gull: Native of eastern Asia. Casual to coastal Alaska and northeastern North America, as far south as Virginia; has been seen in San Diego Bay. Found in coastal environments, near quieter waters such as estuaries and bays. Breeding colonies are found in rocky coastal cliffs, or sandy shorelines.

Breeding and Nesting

Black-tailed Gull: Monogamous, colonial. Two to three green to brown eggs with dark spots are laid in a nest of dry grass, on ledges, slopes, and small cliffs hidden by vegetation. Incubation ranges from 24 to 27 days and is carried out by both sexes; young fed by both sexes. First flight at 30 to 40 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Black-tailed Gull: Frequents seashores; often forages while wading, swimming, or walking; eats small fish, especially smelt and greenlings; also eats insects, crustaceans, carrion, and refuse. Will catch insects or other food in flight.


Black-tailed Gull: Very low "kaoo-kaoo."

Similar Species

Black-tailed Gull: Belcher's Gull has darker blackish upperwings and mantle, dark eyes with yellow orbital ring, and longer legs. California Gull has bill with red gonys spot but no red tip and almost no black, dark eye, and lighter mantle.

The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X