The Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus) is a small gull which breeds almost entirely in the Western Palearctic, mainly in the south east, especially around the Black Sea, and in central Turkey.
The Mediterranean Gull is slightly larger and bulkier than the Black-headed Gull with a heavier bill and longer, darker legs. The breeding plumage adult is a distinctive white gull, with a very pale grey mantle and wings with white primary feathers, with a black hood contrasting with distinct white eye crescents. The blunt tipped, parallel sided, dark red bill has a black subterminal band. The non breeding adult is similar but the hood is reduced to an extensive dusky “bandit” mask through the eye. This bird takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band and more black areas in the upperwings, but have pale underwings.
Formerly restricted to the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean this species has now expanded over most of Europe as far as the Great Britain and Ireland, with 37 sites: 543–592 pairs in the United Kingdom in 2008.
This is a noisy species, especially at colonies, with a nasal “yeah” call.