Yellow-Legged Gull

Yellow-Legged Gull

Scientific name: Larus michahellis

Did you know: The Yellow-Legged Gull was only recently recognised as a distinct species from the Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull!

What Do Yellow-Legged Gulls Look Like? (how to identify them)

Yellow-Legged Gulls are striking birds, varying in size but generally large. Their size ranges from around 50 to 70 centimetres in length, with a wingspan of 120 to 155 centimetres. 

Adults boast a grey back and bright yellow legs. The key to distinguishing them lies in their wing tips, which are predominantly black with minimal white spots, and a red mark on their bill.

Differences Between Male And Female Yellow-Legged Gulls

Male and female Yellow-Legged Gulls are similar in appearance, but males are typically larger. Females may appear slightly smaller than the largest males, with subtler colour variations.

What Do Yellow-Legged Gulls Eat?

These gulls are omnivores and opportunistic feeders. They scavenge at rubbish tips and also prey on smaller birds. Their diet can vary based on the environment; for instance, during food scarcity, they’ve been known to hunt larger prey like rats.

Where Do Yellow-Legged Gulls Live? (inc. migration info)

Centred around the Mediterranean, these gulls breed in coastal regions and islands, stretching from Europe to North Africa and the Middle East. Some migrate to western Europe or even as far as Senegal and the Red Sea during winter, while others remain local throughout the year.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Yellow-Legged Gulls)

The call of a Yellow-Legged Gull is a distinctive, loud laugh, deeper and more nasal than that of a Herring Gull, adding to their unique coastal symphony.

Fun Yellow-Legged Gull Facts (kid friendly)

  • They can live in cities, often seen nesting on buildings or even trees.
  • Young gulls take five years to get their adult feathers and leg colour.
  • These gulls have a special red spot on their bill – a key feature for identification.
  • Some of these gulls love olives and have been spotted picking them mid-flight in Gibraltar.

Facts About The Yellow-Legged Gull

Diet: Ominivorous - a scavenger.
Bird Family: Gulls and terns
Length: 55-67cm
Scientific Name: Larus michahellis

The Yellow-Legged Gull Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Yellow-Legged 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