Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Least Concern

Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii)


French: Goéland d’Audouin German: Korallenmöwe Spanish: Gaviota de Audouin

Larus audouinii


, 1826,

Sardinia and Corsica


Some recent authors place this species and other “black-headed gulls” in genus Ichthyaetus (see L. ichthyaetus). Has been placed in Chroicocephalus. Previously thought to be probably closest to L. canus. Monotypic.


Mediterranean coasts, with main breeding areas at the Ebro Delta and in Valencia (NE Spain) and on the Chafarinas Is (off NE Morocco), and scattered colonies from Portugal, Morocco and Algeria E to Aegean Sea, S Turkey and Cyprus. Winters S to Senegambia; small wintering population along Aegean and S Turkey coasts.

Descriptive notes

48–52 cm; 451–770 g; wingspan 125–138 cm. White-headed, white-bodied marine gull, with a pale grey mantle and upperwings; characteristic profile, with... read more


More varied than in L. michahellis. The long call is a series of 3–30 hoarse braying... read more


Until quite recently breeding birds generally nested mainly on  low, rocky islands among large... read more

Food and feeding

Relies mainly on fish, in particular clupeiforms, especially sardines. Opportunistically exploits a much wider range of food items,... read more


Returns to colonies late Feb to mid Apr; lays from late Apr; peak hatching late May. Colony size up to over 10,000 pairs (Ebro Delta, NE... read more


Partially migratory and dispersive. Disperses around coasts of Mediterranean but is scarce in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly considered threatened or, from 2000 until 2015, Near Threatened. A conservation success story: its population has... read more

Recommended citation

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M., Garcia, E.F.J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii). 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 11 December 2019).