Black-tailed Gulls (Larus crassirostris)

The Black-tailed Gulls (Larus crassirostris) are residents in East Asia, including China, Japan and Korea.

They are vagrants to Alaska and northeastern North America.

These gulls are rare visitor to the United States, a black-tailed gull was spotted from Burlington, Vermont, in October 2005.

Black-tailed Gull, Larus crassirostris
Black-tailed Gull


The Black-tailed Gull is a medium-sized (46 cm) gull, with a wingspan of 126-128 cm.

It has yellow legs and a red and black spot at the end of the bill. This gull takes 4 years to reach full adult plumage.

It has a black tail – as suggested by its name.

Calls / Vocalizations

The Black-tailed Gull has a cat-like call, giving it its Japanese name — Umineko, “Sea cat” and Korean name — Gwaeng-yi gull, which means “cat” gull.

Diet / Feeding

The Black-tailed Gull feeds mainly on small fish, mollusks, crustaceans scraps and carrion. It often follows ships and commercial fishing fleets. It also steal food from other seabirds.

Breeding / Nesting

Like other gulls, the Black-tailed Gull is a colonial nester, with colonies forming in mid-April. 2-3 eggs are laid by early June.

The incubation is undertaken by both parents and lasts approximately 24 days.