Bill and legs deep brownish red: tarsus one inch ten lines: primaries entirely black; extending considerably beyond the tail: in summer a lead-coloured hood reaching below the occiput.
L. Atracilla, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 779. L. ridibundus, Wils. Amer. Orn. vol. ix. pl. 74. f. 4. Laughing Gull, Mont. Orn. Diet.
Entire length eighteen inches. Mont.
(Winter plumage). According to Temminck, unknown. (Summer plumage). " Head, and upper part of the neck, deep lead-gray, the hood extending lower in front than behind; a white spot above and beneath the eyes; lower part of the neck, breast, belly, and tail, pure white: back, wings, and secondary quills, lead-gray; tips of the secondaries white; the whole of the primaries, which extend two inches beyond the tail, deep black: bill and legs very deep lake-red." Temm. (Egg). Dun clay-colour, thinly marked with small irregular touches of pale purple and pale brown: long. diam. two inches and a quarter; trans, diam. one inch and a half. Wils.
But little known as a British species. Montagu records having seen five individuals together feeding in a pool upon the Shingly Flats near Winchelsea in Sussex, and two others near Hastings. One was shot. According to Temminck, not uncommon in the South of Europe. Food, the remains of fish and Crustacea, and also insects. Said by Wilson to breed in marshes, and to lay three eggs.