Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Least Concern

Andean Gull (Larus serranus)


French: Mouette des Andes German: Andenmöwe Spanish: Gaviota andina

Larus serranus


, 1844,

Jauja Valley, Junín, Peru


Some recent authors place this species and other “masked gulls” in genus Chroicocephalus (see L. philadelphia). Monotypic.


Andean lakes from N Ecuador, W Bolivia and NW Argentina (Tucumán) to C Chile (Ñuble, rarely to Aisén). Individuals and small flocks also reported from SW Colombia at Laguna La Cocha#R. In winter extends to Pacific coast, mainly from C Peru to N Chile.

Descriptive notes

44–48 cm; 478 g. Two-year gull. Breeding adult has glossy black hood, with white rear eye-crescents; neck white; back and upperwing grey; unique wing pattern, with... read more


Gives agitated, sometimes tremulous “yeeer” calls. Also a hoarse “raggh-aggh-keeaagh” and other low... read more


During the breeding season frequents lakes, bogs with small ponds, marshes and fields; breeds on... read more

Food and feeding

Breeders feed along rivers and on grasslands. Diet includes earthworms, insects, amphibians and small fish, and sometimes eggs and chicks... read more


Nests mainly Jul–Aug, but variable, depending on climate. Breeding biology largely unknown. Usually in small colonies, which are... read more


Many birds remain on altiplano lakes and marshes throughout year, but most descend to congregate at... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population unknown but estimated at 150,000 individuals. The species is probably vulnerable, with no large populations.... read more

Recommended citation

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M., de Juana, E. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Andean Gull (Larus serranus). 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 on 24 February 2020).