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Common gull


Common name Common gull
Scientific name Larus canus
Type Seabirds
Status Wintering

Medium-sized seabird (approx 45 cm or 17.5 in), similar in size to a Black-Headed Gull. Upperparts of pale grey tone, white underparts and a very rounded head, which is also white; yellow bill, small and with a dark tip; grey legs. It resembles a miniature Yellow-Legged Gull, although with a less sturdy bill. On the tips of the wings it exhibits large white spots (speculum), very visible in flight.


Marine environment

Where it lives

Common species in northern Europe with preference for both coasts and inland wetlands.

How it lives

Scarce wintering bird present in the province and also present during the migratory passage. Gregarious habits. It breeds in colonies in cliffs, islands and marshes. Nest on the ground. It lays 2 to 5 eggs and feeds both on small fishes and crustaceans that it gets from the discards of the fishing boats and on invertebrates obtained by following the tractors that plow the soil, just like cattle egrets do.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Scarce species in the province, more frequent in years of very cold winters as well as during the migratory passage. It is usually watched in the company of other more abundant species, such as the Black-Headed Gull or the Mediterranean Gull. Present in the main ports of the province and on beaches where it usually perches mixed with other species in large flocks. There are observations along the coast, from the Vélez river to Mijas.

Curious facts

Its popular name in Spanish ("gaviota cana") refers to the whiteness of its plumage. In English another name for this species is "Common Mew Gull", indicating that it is a very common species and that its voice is similar to the meow of a cat.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration