Larus minutus - Little gull:

Summary Information
Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Ciconiiformes / Laridae / Larus / Species

This section is currently predominantly used in Wildpro to link different data types and demonstrate inter-relationships. Although it identifies that taxonomic interrelationships of species (see "header") it does not currently contain detailed information on the bird species itself. As WILDPro is developed, we will gradually convert these pages into full Species pages.

The taxonomy of birds is still under review and the A World Checklist of Birds by Burt L. Monroe, Jr and Charles G. Sibley (B89) has been chosen as the primary reference. The taxonomic structure will be amended when new editions or complete references are identified by the scientific world as the recognized primary references for taxonomy.

Alternative Names
  • Northern Eurasia, north-eastern North America; winters to Mediterranean, northern, eastern United States (B89)
  • Europe: winters in the Mediterranean area and western Europe. (B164)
  • UK: Scarce. (B45)
  • London: In the London Area, regular passage migrant, seen also occasionally in both summer and winter. Mainly on various reservoirs, also seen at Dartford Marsh and Swanscombe Marsh. (J322.65.w1)
Habitat Breeding - "Mainly rocky coasts and islands, also islands in lakes" (B163)
Further Information Appearance: Very small gull. (B164)
  • Length: 24-28 cm (B164)
  • Wingspan: 62-69 cm (B164)
  • Bill: Reddish-brown, appears black, pointed. (B164)
  • Eyes: Dark. (B164)
  • Feet and legs: Scarlet in summer, paler/duller in winter and in juvenile. (B17, B164)
  • Plumage: White, with very pale grey wings (trailing edge and tips white), underparts white (pink-flushed). In winter head white with dark ear spot and blackish cap. (B164)
  • Juvenile: Upperparts marked with grey and black ("M" or "W" mark over wings visible on spread wings), underparts white. (B17, B164)
  • food - mainly aquatic invertebrates, aquatic insects in breeding season; sometimes fish
  • feeding behaviour - mainly skims, sometimes surface dips


  • location and structure - ground nesting; scrape, platform; sometimes floating platform.
  • nest building - male and female
  • breeding structure - monogamous; bond for life


  • markings - Patterned
  • number of eggs - 2-3 (1-5)
  • broods - 1 brood
  • incubation - by male and female; 23-25 days


  • development - semi precocial, stays in nest, fed by parents
  • parental caring for young - by male and female
  • fledging - 21-24 days

(B163, B164)

Organisations (UK Contacts):

Electronic Library (further reading):

General Legislation:

  • his species is listed on Schedule 1 - Part I (Birds protected by special penalties: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds protected by special penalties at all times") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)

Individual techniques:

Return to Top of Page