Caspian Gull

Larus cachinnans (Pallas, 1811) YC CASGU 5927
Family: Charadriiformes > Laridae

Caspian Gull, Simon Gillings

The Caspian Gull is a fairly recent addition to the British avifauna, arriving in small numbers in late summer and autumn to spend the winter with us.

The nearest breeding range is around the Black and Caspian Seas; the species has been spreading north and west, which accounts for its presence in some British gull flocks in recent years. It is likely that advances in bird identification have enabled a more accurate recognition of the numbers of this species in Britain.

Adults are very smart white-headed gulls with a long, drawn-out pale bill and long wings.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Caspian Gull


Caspian Gull identification is often difficult.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Caspian Gull, provided by xeno-canto contributors.


Alarm call


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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.



There is a distinct arrival of Caspian Gulls in late summer and early autumn into Britain, mainly to the southeast and east coast, with birds then moving inland and dispersing north and west as the autumn and winter progress. Numbers peak in winter and Caspian Gulls were reported from 169 10-km squares, mostly in southern and central England.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK



Caspian Gulls can be recorded year-round and are most evident in late summer when there is an influx of post-breeding adults and juveniles.

Weekly occurence of Caspian Gull from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.

Foreign locations of birds ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland

Foreign locations of Caspian Gull ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland
Encountered in: Winter (Nov-Feb); Spring (Mar-Apr); Summer (May-Jul); Autumn (Aug-Oct)


Lifecycle and body size information about Caspian Gull, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.


Sample sizes are too small to report Productivity and Nesting statistics for this species.


View number ringed each year in the Online Ringing Report


Sample sizes are too small to report Biometrics for this species.

Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Welsh: Gwylan Bontaidd
Catalan: gavià del Caspi
Czech: racek belohlavý
Danish: Kaspisk Måge
Dutch: Pontische Meeuw
Estonian: koldjalg-hõbekajakas
Finnish: aroharmaalokki (valkopäälokki)
French: Goéland pontique
German: Steppenmöwe
Hungarian: sztyeppi sirály
Icelandic: Klapparmáfur
Italian: Gabbiano reale pontico
Latvian: Kaspijas kaija
Lithuanian: kaspijinis kiras
Norwegian: Kaspimåke
Polish: mewa bialoglowa
Portuguese: gaivota-do-cáspio
Slovak: cajka bielohlavá
Slovenian: rumenonogi galeb
Spanish: Gaviota del Caspio
Swedish: kaspisk trut

Links to more information from

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