Little Gull

Little Gull

Scientific name: Hydrocoloeus minutus

Did you know: The Little Gull, the smallest gull species worldwide, can perform an elegant vanishing act, diving swiftly under the water only to surface far away from any perceived threat!

What Do Little Gulls Look Like? (How to Identify Them)

Little Gulls are the world’s smallest gull species. In summer, adults display striking black heads, while in winter, they adopt a white head with a dark ear spot. Their wings are pale grey above without black wingtips (like regular Gulls have) and dark grey underneath. 

Young birds exhibit a ‘W’ pattern on their wings, making them easily distinguishable.

Differences Between Male And Female Little Gulls

Male and female Little Gulls have similar plumages in both winter and summer. The main difference lies in their size, with males generally being larger and heavier than females.

What Do Little Gulls Eat?

Their diet primarily consists of insects and fish. They exhibit a unique foraging behaviour, hovering above water to catch insects or diving to snatch small fish.

Where Do Little Gulls Live? (Including Migration Info)

Little Gulls are migratory, breeding in freshwaters and spending winters at sea. In the UK, they are mainly seen during migration or as winter visitors. These birds are adaptable to various habitats, from freshwater lakes to coastal lagoons and open seas.

Bird Calls & Songs (The Unique Voices of Little Gulls)

Little Gulls have a range of vocalisations, including sharp, high-pitched notes and a distinctive squawking used for communication, especially around their nesting sites.

Fun Little Gull Facts (Kid Friendly)

  • Little Gulls can dive underwater to escape danger.
  • They have a unique ‘W’ pattern on their wings as young birds.
  • In the breeding season, they develop a striking black head.
  • Little Gulls are the world’s smallest gull species.
  • They can often be seen performing acrobatic flights over water.

Facts About The Little Gull

Diet: Insects and fish.
Bird Family: Gulls and terns
Length: 25-27cm
Wingspan: 70-78cm
Weight: 85-150g
Scientific Name: Hydrocoloeus minutus

The Little Gull Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Little Gull Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile