The Yellow-legged Gull is a large gull. They range in length from 52 to 68 cm (20 to 27 in) , from 120 to 155 cm (47 to 61 in) in wingspan and from 550 to 1,600 g in body mass. Adults are similar to Herring Gulls but have yellow legs. They have a grey back, slightly darker than Herring Gulls but lighter than Lesser Black-backed Gulls. They are much whiter-headed in autumn, and have more black wing tips with few white spots, just as Lesser Black-backed. They have a red spot on the bill as adults, like the entire complex. There is a red ring around the eye like in the Lesser Black-backed Gull but unlike in the Herring Gull which has a dark yellow ring.
Habitat and Distribution
The breeding range is centred around the Mediterranean Sea. In North Africa it is common in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Recent breeding has occurred in Libya and Egypt. In the Middle East a few breed in Israel and Syria with larger numbers in Cyprus and Turkey. In Europe there are colonies all along the Mediterranean coast, and also on the Atlantic islands and coasts north to Brittany and west to the Azores. It also breeds on the west side of the Black Sea. They prefer sea cliffs.
They are omnivores and will scavenge on rubbish tips and elsewhere, as well as seeking suitable prey in fields or on the coast, or robbing smaller gulls and other seabirds of their catches.
Yellow-legged Gulls usually breed in colonies. Eggs, usually three, are laid from mid March to early May and are defended vigorously by this large gull. The nest is a sometimes sparse mound of vegetation built on the ground or on cliff ledges. The eggs are incubated for 27-31 days and the young birds fledge after 35-40 days.
Calls and Songs
The call is a loud laugh which is deeper and more nasal than the call of the Herring Gull.