Xema sabini

Scientific Name:-
Xema sabini

Common Name:-
Sabine's Gull / Fork-Tailed Gull

Malayalam Name:-

Sea/Shore birds

Least Concern


A small gull, with length 27 to 33 cm. Wings are long, thin and pointed with a span of between 81 to 87 cm. This species is easy to identify through its striking wing pattern. The adult has a pale grey back and wing coverts, black primary flight feathers and white secondaries. The white tail is forked. The male's hood darkens during breeding season. Young birds have a similar tricoloured wing pattern, but the grey is replaced by brown, and the tail has a black terminal band. Bill black with yellow tip. Winter plumage: Grayish wash on crown, nape, and sides of breast. Crown whiter and with brownish gray patches on hind neck.


Not recorded


Sabine's Gull breeds in the arctic and has a circumpolar distribution. This species is a long-distance migrant and migrates offshore between its breeding and wintering grounds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Rare records from Kerala (Sashikumar et al., 2011).




Larus sabini Sabine, 1819


Adriaens, P. (2014). Xema sabini (Sabine, 1819). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=137167 on 2015-02-12
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Xema sabini. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/02/2015.
del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabine%27s_gull (Image)
Sashikumar,C., Praveen, J. Palot, M.J., Nameer, P.O. 2011. Birds of Kerala: status and distribution. DC Books, Kottayam.

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