Some recent authors place this species, along with L. relictus, L. melanocephalus, L. hemprichii, L. leucophthalmus and L. audouinii, in genus Ichthyaetus (the “black-headed gulls”, even if some lack black head). Despite its large size, this species’ behavioural repertoire appears typical of that of “hooded gulls”, although considered distinctive by some; possibly a link between the “hooded” and the “white-headed gulls”. Monotypic.
Breeds in a few very small, scattered localities from the Black Sea (Crimea, Danube Delta) E to L Balkhash and spottily to NW Mongolia; also Tibet#R, as well as N China (Gansu, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia). Winters on coasts of the E Mediterranean, Red Sea, S Caspian Sea and N Indian Ocean E to Myanmar, rarely to Thailand; also inland on the Gangetic Plain (N India) and in SC Ethiopia.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
Only subscribers are able to see the bibliography. Login or Subscribe to get access to a lot of extra features!