Order Charadriiformes

Family Laridae

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers
Following the taxonomy applied to HBW Alive, derived from the recently published HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, this family now contains species that were formerly considered to comprise the families Terns (Sternidae) and Skimmers (Rynchopidae). See links for information on these groups.
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Vertical Tabs

  • Fairly small to large, heavy-bodied, long-winged seabirds, with stout bill, webbed feet and generally rounded tail; most species white below with pale grey to black back and wings, some with dark hood when breeding.
  • Cosmopolitan.
  • Mainly coastal, but also inland in wide variety of habitats, typically near water.
  • 25-79 cm.
  • 20 genera, 100 species, 199 taxa.
  • 14 species threatened;
    none extinct since 1600.

Recommended citation

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M. & Bonan, A. (2020). Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52249 on 22 January 2020).