Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Least Concern

Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis)


French: Mouette de Patagonie German: Patagonienmöwe Spanish: Gaviota cahuil

Larus maculipennis

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,



Some recent authors place this species and other “masked gulls” in genus Chroicocephalus (see L. philadelphia). Present species sometimes treated as a race of L. ridibundus. Monotypic.


SC Chile and SE Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul) S to Tierra del Fuego and Falkland Is. Winters N to N Chile and CE Brazil.

Descriptive notes

35–37 cm; 280–361 g. Two-year gull. The breeding adult has the frontal hood chocolate brown to dark brown, darker at rear, forming blackish margin; white... read more


Thin and high-pitched; a shrill, ternlike “zhree” and a short “kip kip kip”. Gives a harsh,... read more


Sea coasts, rivers, lakes and marshes; in winter also frequents sewage outfalls, slaughterhouses,... read more

Food and feeding

Largely insectivorous, but in Chile breeding birds feed mainly on small fish; takes offal and carrion when available. Forages over marshes... read more


Lays Nov–Dec in Chile, from late Oct to early Jan in Argentina, from Dec in Falkland Is. Sometimes solitary, but usually nests... read more


Relatively sedentary, dispersing to large rivers and coastal areas after breeding.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Status poorly known. Total population probably 50,000–100,000 pairs and apparently increasing; The population in the ... read more

Recommended citation

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis). 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 21 January 2020).