Yellow-legged Gull

Larus michahellis




Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Buff or olive with brown, black or olive marks

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

28 - 30

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground or cliff ledges.

Nest Material:

Bits of debris, grasses, and feathers.





Yellow-legged Gull: Large gull with medium gray upperparts and red spot on bright yellow bill; legs and feet are yellow. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has pale gray streaking on head. Juvenile is mostly brown with black bill and pale pink legs and feet. 1st winter shows white on breast, chin and forehead. All plumages are difficult to distinguish from the very similar Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls.

Range and Habitat

Yellow-legged Gull: A European and Asian gull that very rarely wanders to Newfoundland or the north Atlantic Coast. Has been recorded near North Carolina. Breeds along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Some migrate south into Africa in winter. Mostly found near ocean coastlines or near large bodies of water.

Breeding and Nesting

Yellow-legged Gull: Monogamous and colonial. Nest built by both sexes on ground or on cliff ledges; lined with debris, grasses, and feathers. Three eggs, buff or olive and marked with brown, black, or olive, incubated 28 to 30 days by both adults. Young stay in nest 35 to 45 days; one brood per year.

Foraging and Feeding

Yellow-legged Gull: Usually found near ocean or shorelines, feeding on almost anything it can eat. May rob food from other seabirds.


Yellow-legged Gull: Loud laugh.

Similar Species

Yellow-legged Gull: Herring Gull has pink legs and longer bill.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area of the face just below the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X