Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)


Saunders's Gull (Saundersilarus saundersi)


French: Mouette de Saunders German: Saundersmöwe Spanish: Gaviota de Saunders

Chroicocephalus saundersi


, 1871,

Fujian, China


Previously placed in genus Larus, and then sometimes in monotypic subgenus Saundersia. Monotypic.


Coastal E China from Liaoning through Hebei and Shandong to Jiangsu; sporadically on W coast of Korea#R. Winters from S Korea and S Japan S to N Vietnam#R.

Descriptive notes

29–33 cm; 170–220 g; wingspan 85–91 cm. Two-year gull. Intermediate in size and shape between Hydrocoleus minutus and L. ridibundus.... read more


Gives harsh, tern-like, calls “kip” and also “chao”.


Mainly found along coast, occasionally on bodies of fresh water near coast. Breeds at coastal... read more

Food and feeding

Little known but thought to be a dietary specialist that exploits silt-laden estuarine waters especially rich in small crabs, e.g. ... read more


Little-known. All known colonies are in coastal saltmarshes, in areas of the ecotone dominated by Suaeda glauca. Nest a shallow... read more


Birds move S & E off coast of E China, and in winter recorded in North and South Korea, N... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Previously listed as Endangered. In 1990s, total population estimated at fewer than 5000, and probably closer to 3000 individuals, and all seven known colony... read more

Recommended citation

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M., de Juana, E., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Saunders's Gull (Saundersilarus saundersi). 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 February 2020).