The Pallas’s Gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus) is a sea bird in the seagull family. It is also known as the Great Black-Headed Gull.
The Pallas’s Gull is white with a black head. It has grey wings and a grey back, with white ‘mirrors’ at the wing tips. Its legs are yellow, with webbed feet. Its beak is orange-yellow with a red tip. Its eyes are small and dark.
It grows to 55-72 centimetres (22-28 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 142-170 centimetres (56-67 inches).
It is found in the Northern Hemisphere, from southern Russia to Mongolia. It prefers coastal areas, close to shore.
It is migratory, flying south in winter to the warmer weather in India, Arabia, or the Mediterranean.
It is a scavenger, feeding on human food scraps, as well as fish, crabs, insects, and small mammals.
The Pallas’s Gull nests on the ground. The female lays 2-4 eggs, which hatch after 27-31 days.
[Location of photographs: Dushanbe, Tajikistan]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM