Saunders's Gull

Chroicocephalus saundersi

Saunders's gull (Chroicocephalus saundersi) or the Chinese black-headed gull, is a species of gull in the family Laridae. It is found in China, Hong Kong, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Macau, Russia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are estuarine waters and intertidal marshes. As with many other gulls, it has traditionally been placed in the genus Larus, but based on phylogenetic work some have moved it to Chroicocephalus, while others argue it is sufficiently distinct for placement in the monotypic Saundersilarus. It is threatened by habitat loss. One of its few remaining strongholds are the Yancheng Coastal Wetlands, which hosts about 20% of the world's population. The Saunders's gull is named after the British ornithologist Howard Saunders. This is a very small species of gull with a length of just 33 cm and, among gulls, only the little gull is smaller. Adults have a black hood and nape during the breeding season. It is very pale with a white body, pale grey wings and a narrow black tail band. The legs and short bill are black and the body is squat. Non-breeding birds have a mottled grey hood and nape, and white-tipped wings with black markings on the primaries.
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