Bill greenish, yellow at the tip: legs greenish gray: tarsus two inches one line: wings reaching beyond the tail; first two primaries black, with a large white spot near the tips.
L. canus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 771. Common Gull, Mont. Orn. Diet, & Supp. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. p. 216. Selb. Illust. vol. ii. p. 490. pl. 93.
Entire length seventeen inches three lines: length of the bill (from the first feathers) one inch three lines, (from the gape) two inches two lines; of the tarsus two inches one line; of the naked part of the tibia seven lines; of the middle toe, nail included, one inch nine lines; of the tail five inches four lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing thirteen inches ten lines.
(Adult in winter). Head, occiput, nape, and sides of the neck, white, spotted with blackish gray: all the under parts, rump and tail, pure white: back, scapulars and wing-coverts, fine bluish ash: first two primaries black, with a large white space near the tips; the rest black towards the extremities, the tips themselves, as well as those of the scapulars and secondary quills, white: bill greenish at the base, the tip ochre-yellow: inside of the mouth orange: irides brown: naked circle round the eyes reddish brown: legs greenish gray; the webs blotched with yellowish. (Summer plumage). Head, occiput, nape and sides of the neck, pure white, without the dusky spots: bill ochre-yellow: naked circle round the eyes bright vermilion: legs pale ochre-yellow, spotted with bluish ash: the rest as in winter. (Young of the year). A black spot before the eyes; all the upper plumage grayish brown, the feathers on the back and wings edged and tipped with yellowish white; those on the upper part of the back with fine streaks of this colour: forehead, and all the under parts, whitish, the breast and flanks spotted with ash-gray; throat, and middle of the belly, pure white: quills of a uniform dusky brown, neither tipped nor spotted with white: tail white, with a broad black bar near the extremity: base of the bill livid dirty white; the tip black: naked circle round the eyes brown: legs livid white. In the second year, the head, neck, rump, and under parts, are white, the two former streaked with dusky brown: back and scapulars bluish ash; wing-coverts still mottled with brown and white feathers: quills dusky brown, sometimes tipped with white: tail white, with a black bar towards the tip. The plumage is not matured till after the second spring moult. (Egg). Dark olive-brown, spotted with two shades of darker brown: long. diam. two inches three lines; trans, diam. one inch six lines.
Common on all parts of the coast, and, during the winter months, occasionally observed inland at a considerable distance from the sea.
Breeds on the ledges of rocks. Nest constructed of sea-weed. Eggs two or three in number. Food, worms, marine insects, and small fish. Obs. The Winter Gull of English authors (L. hybernus, Gmel). is this species in its immature plumage.