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Birds

Brown-headed
Gull

Least Concern

Stable

Brown-headed Gull

Larus brunnicephalus

The Brown-headed Gull is a small gull which breeds in the high plateaus of central Asia from Tajikistan to Ordos in Inner Mongolia. It is migratory, wintering on the coasts and large inland lakes of tropical southern Asia.

This gull breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species, and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.

This is a bold and opportunist feeder, which will scavenge in towns or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish.

The Brown-headed Gull is slightly larger than Black-headed Gull. The summer adult has a pale brown head, lighter than that of Black-headed, a pale grey body, and red bill and legs. The black tips to the primary wing feathers have conspicuous white 'mirrors'. The underwing is grey with black flight feathers. The brown hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks.

This bird takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less homogeneous hood.

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Regional Names
  • Assamese:
    ৰামপৰা
  • Bengali:
    খয়েরিমাথা গাঙচিল
  • Gujarati:
    લડાખી ધોમડો
  • Hindi:
    भुरी गंगाचिल्ली
  • Malayalam:
    തവിട്ടു തലയൻ കടൽകാക്ക
  • Marathi:
    तपकिरी डोक्याचा कुरव
  • Nepali:
    खैरोटाउके गंगाचील
  • Sanskrit:
    बभृशीर्ष गङ्गाचिल्ली
Media Gallery
Taxanomy

CHARADRIIFORMES
LARIDAE
Larus brunnicephalus

Quick Facts
  • It can elegantly ride the waves in the roughest weather.
  • Like most gulls, these are long-lived birds.
Brown-headed Gull

Range Map

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