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Gray-hooded Gull - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies pioicephalus
Photo © bymarko.marais
Marievale, Johannesburg, South Africa, June 2017

Alternative name: Grey-headed Gull

Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus

Larus cirrocephalus


Subspecies cirrocephalus
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Province of Lima and the District of Chorrillos, Peru, September, 2009

38–43 cm (15-17 in). A 2-3 year gull
In breeding plumage, head and mantle about same shade of grey.

  • Pale eyes
  • Long bill


South America and sub-Saharan Africa.
South America: Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zaire
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe
South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal
African Islands: Gulf of Guinea Islands; Bioko (Fernando Po), Madagascar


1st Year, subspecies pioicephalus
Photo © by rdavis
Lake Ziway, Ethiopia, January 2015

This species is sometimes placed in genus Larus.


There are 2 subspecies[1]:


On or near water, both coastal and inland.


May utilize fields worked by a farmer. Can also fly over water and plunge in to catch prey.


Their diet consists mostly of fish, eggs and invertebrates. They also scavenge at rubbish dumps.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  3. Ber van Perlo. 2009. A field guide to the Birds of Brazil. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-530155-7
  4. Erize et al. 2006 Birds of South America, non-passerines. Princeton Illustrated Checklists, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. ISBN 0-691-12688-7
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2014)

Recommended Citation

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