Photographs taken in North Point, Sheboygan, WI, on June 17, 2013.
Binomial name: Hydrocoloeus minutus
Category: Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers
Description: Light gray body, gray wings with white wingtip and a black head. In the winter, the black head will fade to white. Dark red legs and a black bill.
Size: 10” – 12” long, 24” – 31” wingspan
Weight: 2.4 oz. – 5.7 oz.
Habitat: Freshwater shorelines of lakes, ponds, rivers, and marshes
Diet: Flying insects, fish, crayfish, snails, and leeches
Nesting: The nest is made of floatable grasses or other vegetation and is usually built on the ground adjacent to shallow water. The female will lay 1 brood per season with 1-4 eggs. Although the chicks are able to begin leaving the nest after only 3 days, they take 3 years to reach maturity.
Notes: Commonly found across Europe and Asia, Little Gulls are rare birds in North America. However, their numbers have been increasing since the 1960’s and they are regular visitors to both the East Coast and the Great Lakes of the Midwest. They may be seen in flocks with Bonaparte’s Gulls.
To view the full gallery of images, please click here.