Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Least Concern

Belcher’s Gull (Larus belcheri)


French: Goéland siméon German: Schwanzbandmöwe Spanish: Gaviota simeón
Other common names: Band-tailed Gull

Larus Belcheri


, 1829,

no locality (presumably Peru)


Formerly treated as including L. atlanticus as a subspecies. Monotypic.


Humboldt Current area in N Peru (Lambayeque#R) and N Chile (Arica to N Coquimbo#R#R). Disperses N to N Ecuador and S to C Chile (around Valparaíso).

Descriptive notes

45–54 cm; 560–725 g; wingspan 120 cm. Breeding adult white with blackish brown-washed mantle and upper­wings and a broad black subterminal tail... read more


A clear short “yap” or “yeow”. The long call is an accelerating series of clear notes, “yaaaah... read more


Exclusively coastal. Frequents rocky shores and inshore guano islands.

Food and feeding

Fish, crabs and shellfish, carrion; seabird eggs and young important during breeding season. Feeds along beaches and around seabird... read more


Nesting in Peru begins in mid Nov and peaks in mid Dec. There are records of a nest with eggs in Jan and another with fledglings in Feb on... read more


Not studied. Most birds apparently remain close to breeding colonies, but some disperse N and S... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Endemic to Humboldt Current region, with few known breeding sites. The total population is certainly fewer than 10,000 pairs, with... read more

Recommended citation

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Belcher’s Gull (Larus belcheri). 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 26 February 2020).