Gull taxa - Laridae on the northern hemisphere

(last update: 04 december 2003)

Herring Gull argentatus
Herring Gull argenteus
Herring Gull smithsonianus
Great Black-backed Gull marinus
Lesser B-b Gull graellsii / intermedius
Lesser B-b Gull fuscus
Yellow-legged Gull michahellis
Yellow-legged Gull atlantis
Caspian Gull cachinnans
Armenian Gull armenicus
Baraba Gull barabensis
Heuglini's Gull heuglini
Vega Gull vegae
Mongolian Gull mongolicus
Slaty-backed Gull schistisagus
Black-headed Gull ridibundus 
Grey-headed Gull cirrocephalus 
Brown-headed Gull brunnicephalus 
Bonaparte's Gull philadelphia 
Little Gull minutus
Mediterranean Gull melanocephalus
Relict Gull relictus
Audouin's Gull audouinii
Slender-billed Gull genei
Common / Mew Gull canus
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis
Franklin's Gull pipixcan
Laughing Gull atricilla
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea
Ross's Gull Rodosthetia rosea
Sabine's Gull sabini
Great Black-headed Gull ichtyaetus
Sooty Gull hemprichii
White-eyed Gull leucophthalmus
Glaucous Gull hyperboreus
Iceland Gull glaucoides
Thayer's Gull thayeri
Kumlien's Gull kumlieni
Mystery Gulls
Skua's Catharacta / Stercorarius
Terns Sterna
Other Birds & Mammals
Links to Gullsites
Gull taxa
Gull Topography
Grey & Colour Charts
Locations in NW Europe
Summaries of Articles
About ORG

In 1990, Sibley & Monroe published their new taxonomy: "Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world". Many taxa which were previously regarded subspecies, now received full species status in this publication. Since, many heated discussions were generated on this topic and the final classification is still under debate. Most recently P. Yésou published his view in an article in the magazine Dutch Birding (2002), again splitting several taxa, especially from central Asia. Consequently, the list below has to be interpreted as a preliminary classification and the way we order types or taxa on this website. 
On this page, many species don't receive in-depth descriptions, but have links to relevant pages elsewhere on the world wide web. Websites dealing with the general topics on gulls can be found by a seperate link page.


Black-tailed / Japanese Gull:

  • Black-tailed Gull - crassirostris
    One taxon. The commonest gull in Japan and along the Pacific coast of Russia. A medium-sized, dark-backed gull, completely lacking mirrors in all plumages and very prominent dark tail-band. Adult plumage required in three years. Links on several Japanese and Korean sites: Ujihara:
    Japanese gulls, Kim: Korean Gulls

Heermann's Gull: 

  • Heermann's Gull - heermanni.
    One taxon. A medium-sized dark-mantled gull of the Pacific coast of the USA. Adults have a sooty-brown plumage, including head and under-parts. 90% of the population breeds in the Gulf of California.
    Links on several American sites: Martin Reid ; Bob Lewis ; Angus Wilson ; Steve Hampton

White-eyed Gull: 

  • White-eyed Gull - leucophthalmus
    One taxon. Medium-sized gull of the NW Indian Ocean and the Arabic coasts. Total population probably well under 10.000, with most breeding in Egypt. 

Sooty Gull: 

  • Sooty Gull - hemprichii 
    One taxon. The more common species in the NW Indian Ocean, with about 50.000 - 100.000 breeding pairs. Like White-eyed Gull, the upper-parts are sooty-brown and adults develop a hood, continuing on the upper breast.

Common Gull:

  • Common Gull (Europe) - canus
  • Mew Gull (America) - brachythynchus
  • Common Gull (Eastern Asia) - kamtschatschensis
  • Common Gull (Russia) - heinei
    Four Taxa. On this website the common NW European subspecies canus can be found. Common Gull is a grey-mantled, medium-sized gull with yellow-green legs and obvious mirrors in adult plumage. A circumpolar species with over 1.000.000 breeding pairs. many descriptions of the t
    axon brachythynchus on American sites: Martin Reid ; Bob Lewis ; Angus Wilson ; Steve Hampton

Audouin's Gull:

  • Audouin's Gull - audouinii
    One taxon. A large gull from the Mediterranean, slightly smaller than the commonly found Yellow-legged Gull. In adult plumage it has a red bill. Audouin's Gull mainly breed in Spain (over 90% of the population) and is threatened by amongst others, strong increase of Yellow-legged Gull, which predate on eggs and chicks.

Ring-billed Gull:

California Gull:

  • California Gull

Great Black-backed Gull:

Glaucous-winged Gull:

  • Glaucous-winged Gull

Western Gull:

  • Western Gull

Yellow-footed Gull:

  • Yellow-footed Gull

Glaucous Gull:

Iceland Gull:

Herring Gull:

Siberian Gull:

Vegae Gull:

Armanian Gull:

Slaty-backed Gull:

Yellow-legged Gull:

Caspian / Pontic Gull:

Lesser Black-backed Gull:

Great Black-headed Gull:

Brown-headed Gull:

Grey-headed Gull:

Black-headed Gull:

Slender-billed Gull:

Bonaparte's Gull:

Saunder's Gull:

  • Saunder's Gull

Mediterranean Gull:

Relict Gull:

Laughing Gull:

Franklin's Gull:

Little Gull:

Ivory Gull:

Ross's Gull:

Sabine's Gull:

Black-legged Kittiwake:

Martin Reid's extensive gull index.
Howard King's gulls from the Arabian Gulf.
Bob Lewis's gull pages.
Angus Wilson's Ocean Wanderers
Steve Hampton: gull page with lots of pics.
Nick Rossiter's many gulls from southern Europe.
Harry Lehto's gulls from Finland and his trips.
Belgian colour-ring projects, where to send your data.
Holmer Vonk's site with metal ring samples.
Japanese gulls, dealing with siberian species.
Korean Gulls: mongolicus, vegae, birulai, taimyrensis.