Mew Gull

Larus canus




Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Tan to green brown or olive buff with brown marks

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

22 - 28

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Scrape lined with grass and leaves.





Mew Gull: Medium-sized gull with gray back and upperwings, and white head, neck, breast, and belly. Bill is bright yellow. Wings have white-spotted black tips; tail is white. Feet and legs are dull yellow. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has brown wash on nape and dark ring near tip of bill. Juvenile has dark tipped bill, brown-scaled nape and wings, and black terminal tail band. 1st winter begins to show gray on back; 2nd winter resembles winter adult but has more extensive brown on head and yellow-gray legs.

Range and Habitat

Mew Gull: Breeds from Alaska east to the Northwest Territories and south to northern Saskatchewan and along the coast to southern British Columbia. Spends winters on the Pacific coast and along the boreal forest belt of Eurasia. Found in and along coastal ranges, tidal estuaries, interior lakes, and marshy grasslands.

Breeding and Nesting

Mew Gull: Three tan to green brown or olive buff eggs marked with brown are laid in a grass nest built on a beach, riverbank, tree top, stump, or piling; usually nests in colonies. Incubation ranges from 22 to 28 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Mew Gull: Eats fish, marine invertebrates, insects, berries, and grains; forages by snatching food from the water surface while in flight or floating. Sometimes resorts to cannibalism of eggs and young when food is scarce.


Mew Gull: Emits a high mewing "kee-yer."

Similar Species

Mew Gull: Ring-billed Gull is larger, has a black ring around bill, and more black on primaries. California Gull is larger, has less white on primaries, and yellow-green legs and feet.

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.
The upper front part of a bird.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X