Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Scientific Name:-
Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Common Name:-
Black-headed Gull

Malayalam Name:-
Thavitttu thalayan kadal kakka

Sea/Shore birds

Least Concern


Length 38–44 cm, wing span 94–105 cm. In flight, the white leading edge to the wing is a good field mark. The summer adult has a chocolate-brown head (not black, although does look black from a distance), pale grey body, black tips to the primary wing feathers, and red bill and legs. The hood is lost in winter, leaving just 2 dark spots.


Not recorded


It 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. A bold and opportunistic feeder, it feeds on insects, fish, seeds, worms, scraps and carrion in towns, or take invertebrates in ploughed fields. This is a noisy species, especially in colonies, with a familiar "kree-ar" call. Its scientific name means "laughing gull". A very common species in Kerala (Sashikumar et al., 2011).




Larus ridibundus Linnaeus, 1766


Adriaens, P. (2014). Chroicocephalus ridibundus (Linnaeus, 1766). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=465358 on 2015-02-13
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Larus ridibundus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/02/2015.
del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Sashikumar,C., Praveen, J. Palot, M.J., Nameer, P.O. 2011. Birds of Kerala: status and distribution. DC Books, Kottayam.

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