Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Near Threatened

Armenian Gull (Larus armenicus)


French: Goéland d’Arménie German: Armenienmöwe Spanish: Gaviota armenia

Larus armenicus


, 1934,

Lake Sevan, Armenia


Formerly commonly treated as a subspecies under an expanded L. argentatus, and more recently as a subspecies of L. michahellis, but species status, already recognized in HBW, suggested by very dark marking near bill tip of breeding bird (2); notably shorter bill (based on published measurements; allow 2); darker iris (at least 1); darker mantle (1); and narrow zone of hybridization with L. michahellis in C Anatolia#R (score 2). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Caucasus through Armenia to W Turkey and NW Iran. Winters S to E Mediterranean, N Red Sea and N Persian Gulf.

Descriptive notes

57–60 cm; 950–1050 g; wingspan c. 140 cm. Four-year gull. The breeding adult is a white-headed, yellow-legged gull with a grey mantle and... read more


Shrill and hoarse, compared by some to the Mew Gull L. canus. Has a hurried and excited... read more


Inland and coastal waters. Breeds only at mountain lakes, using reedbeds, beaches, and agricultural... read more

Food and feeding

Little studied. The diet includes fish, invertebrates, small terrestrial vertebrates and refuse. It forages in coastal and inland waters as... read more


Nests in colonies of up to several thousand pairs. Lays from late April but mainly from early May. The nest is usually an accumulation... read more


Some birds remain in their breeding areas all year but many migrate to winter on and near ... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened, on account of its limited range and apparently declining population. The global population was estimated... read more

Recommended citation

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M., Sharpe, C.J. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Armenian Gull (Larus armenicus). 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 8 December 2019).