Larus ridibundus   Linnaeus,  1766 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Size: 38-43 cm, Range mass 195 to 325 g

Voice: A loud harsh kree-ah.

Habits: Gregarious, often in company of Brown-headed Gull, scavenger on sea, generally feeds and roosts with Brown-headed Gull, Pariah and Brahminy kites.

Sexes alike. Very similar to Brown-headed Gull, but distinguishable in all seasons by white leading edges to wings instead of white 'mirror'.

After returning to its colonies between late February and late March, L. ridibundus lays its eggs in late April and May. Females lay from one to three eggs and incubate them for 22 to 26 days. lNest- The nest is a rough construction of vegetation based on a shallow scrape and placed on a floating mat, in broken reeds, on a hummock, or sometimes on dry, grassy or sandy ground. The species shows a strong preference for nesting near vegetation (although vegetation overgrowth can lead to the desertion of colony sites). It usually nests in dense colonies with neighbouring nests placed an average of 1 m apart.

Lifespan/ Longevity: Average lifespan 218 months(wild)

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Common Black Headed Gull (English)
• Black-headed Gull (English)
• Kal-siri gangachilli (Hindi)
• Kalshirsh gangachilli (Sanskrit)
• Kala mathano dhomdo (Gujrati)
• Kalya dokyacha kurav (Marathi)
• Gourukaki (Telugu)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Natural threats
(The species is susceptible to avian influenza and avian botulism so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(It may also be threatened by future coastal oil spills and has suffered local population declines in the past as a result of egg collecting. In some areas of its breeding range the species may also suffer from reduced reproductive successes due to contamination with chemical pollutants.)

Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Carnivorous (fish, prawns, crabs and carcass on seaboard, insects etc.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• INDIA (Record: 2005)
• PAKISTAN (Record: 2005)
• BANGLADESH (Record: 2005)
• SRI LANKA (Record: 2005)
• MALDIVES (Record: 2005)
• Goa, Terekhol INDIA (Record: 30/01/1982, 29/07/2004)
• Goa, Chapora estuary INDIA (Record: 24/02/1983, 30/12/1983)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA (Record: 2003)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA (Record: 2003, 2008)
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Orissa, Dhamra Port INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere (Lat: 10.3) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Kerela, Kuttanad wetlands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • (2001) Sanctuary Asia natural history species: Species checklist: Birds Sanctuary Asia Sanctuary Magazine Available at -
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Abbaasi, SA (1997) Wetlands of India-Ecology and Threats Discovery Publishing House,New Delhi II 1-182 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • (1997) Coastal marine environment of Gujarat 178pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Nagarjuna, A; Kumar,NVN; Kalarani, V and Reddy, DC (2010) Aquatic and avian biodiversity of Pulicat brackish water lake and ecological degradation World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences IDOSI Publications 2 (2) 118-123 Available at -
  • Dutta, SK (2007) Biodiversity assessment of Dhamra port site and surrounding areas, Orissa Greenpeace India 4-38 Available at -
  • Lal Mohan RS (1986) Birds and Bird Catchers Of Ramanathapuram Coast Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Balchandran S, Rahmani AR and Sathiyaselvam P (2005) Habitat evaluation of Chilka lake with special reference to birds as bio-indicators Bombay Natural History Society 140pp Available at -
  • Narayanan SP, Thomas AP and Sreekumar B (2011) Ornithofauna and its conservation in the Kuttanad wetlands, southern portion of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4) 1663–1676 Available at -
  • Avibase- the world database Available at -
  • Myers, P; Espinosa, R; Parr, CS; Jones, T; Hammond, GS and Dewey, TA (2006) Animal diversity web Available at -
  • Gibbon-Hill CA, Campbell B, Campbell R and Prytherch R (1976) A guide to the birds of the coast Constable and Company Ltd 13-283pp Available at - Goa University

Page last updated on:2012-07-09

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