Fun Caspian Gull Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 14, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Caspian Gull facts are entertaining and interesting!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.6 Min

The Caspian gull (Larus cachinnans) is a large white-headed bird that has a long and slender bill and a dark pair of eyes. The adult birds have the same features and some added characteristics such as long, slender pale pink legs as well as a broad black band on the wings. This species of gulls have been confused with the herring gull (Larus argentatus) for decades. However, on close observation, a number of differences in features can be spotted between the two species, such as the herring gulls possess a more dark shade of pink legs than the other. These gulls are members of the lesser black-backed gull and the herring gull complex and are known for their wide migratory and breeding range. They have been spotted to migrate to the lakes of Europe in winter.

If you want to keep learning, do check out our Franklin's gull facts and the western gull facts

Caspian Gull Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Caspian Gull?

These large birds are subspecies of the gull family and are often confused with herring gulls. They are known for their wide migratory and breeding range.

What class of animal does a Caspian Gull belong to?

The Caspian gull, not to be confused with the yellow-legged gull of the Atlantic coast, belongs to the class Aves of the Animalia kingdom and is a member of the Laridae family.

How many Caspian Gulls are there in the world?

An accurate estimate of the total number of mature Caspian gulls, not to be confused with the yellow-legged gull or herring gull, is unavailable because of their wide range and migratory nature.

Where does a Caspian Gull live?

This species has a generous distribution and can be found in many parts of the world, especially because they tend to migrate very often like the herring gull. The Caspian gull is a native resident of Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe. But they migrate and breed in various regions and locations such as the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. This bird can also sometimes be spotted in places like India, China, Egypt, and Ethiopia but they do not breed whilst living here.

What is a Caspian Gull's habitat?

These gulls species live near wetlands and inland water bodies. They can be found in commercial fishing areas, mudflats, piers, beaches, bays, ocean coasts, and marshes. The bird can also be seen sitting on boulders in the middle of lakes or rivers. It can also be spotted swimming or walking on the shallow end of the shore.

Who does Caspian Gull live with?

Caspian gulls are not solitary creatures. They prefer to travel in groups or even build colonies. Such groups are especially helpful when they are hunting. These birds use their strength to pry away food from other animals. This species is also sexually monogamous and thus they mate for life and stay close to their partners even outside of the breeding season.

How long does a Caspian Gull live?

The Caspian gull has an average lifespan of 30 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The Caspian gull, not to be confused with a yellow-legged gull of the Atlantic coast or herring gull, builds nests and breeds between the months of March and April. The adults are monogamous but only mate for life if the pair can lay healthy eggs. If there are no eggs or offspring, the adults will terminate their relationship and try their luck with another partner. The male gull establishes breeding territories that are protected by the pair. After mating, these gulls busy themselves in building nests. They usually nest in islands, on the ground, next to water bodies. The nest is covered in vegetation, feathers, and hair to build a cozy environment. Once the nesting is complete, the female lays two to three eggs per brood. The bonded pair of adults take turns to incubate the egg which takes approximately one month. The eggs hatch revealing tiny chicks with their eyes wide open. At least one of the parent birds guards the chicks at all times for at least 45 days after they are born. Both the male and female gulls breed in the same territory every year and thus come back to the same spot during the breeding season.

What is their conservation status?

 The conservation status of the Caspian gull is evaluated as of Least Concern (LC) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their population trend suggests that they are also increasing in numbers.

Caspian Gull Fun Facts

What does Caspian Gull look like?

Caspian Gulls are beautiful pale birds with white plumage and their images are adorable.

The Caspian gull (Larus cachinnans) is one of the larger species of gulls with an average length of 22–27 in (55.88-68.58 cm) and an average wingspan of 54-61 in (137.16-155 cm). These birds have long and slender bills that are 1.8-2.5 in (4.6-6.35 cm) in length that is strengthened by their oblique forehead. The eyes on either side are small and dark and the neck, wings, and legs are longer than those of the yellow-legged gulls and herring gulls. Their legs have varying colors that range from pale yellowish to pale pink with the wing and the torso having feathers of slightly darker shades of gray than the yellow-legged gulls and herring gulls. There are dark streakings on the back of the necks of the first-winter birds. These birds have pale heads while the back is grayish in color while the underparts are pale-colored.

How cute are they?

Like black-head gulls, these birds with pale white plumage, not to be confused with a yellow-legged gull or herring gull, especially the young ones, can be quite cute but do not be fooled by their appearance. A bite by the bill of a gull can injure you quite seriously.

How do they communicate?

Gulls have a number of calls to communicate amongst themselves. The males emit a harsh territorial cry that acts as a boundary signal for other birds. These gulls also have a low, barking anxiety call, and a yelping warning shriek. The juvenile birds give out a unique and repeated call when they are hungry to get the attention of their parents.

How big is a Caspian Gull?

Caspian gulls, not to be confused with the yellow-legged gull or herring gull, is quite a large bird with an average length of 22–27 in (55.88-68.58 cm). These gulls have a wingspan of 54-61 in (137.16-155 cm). They are longer than red-billed gulls.

How fast can a Caspian Gull fly?

Gulls are powerful flyers and this species of gull is no exception. Their flight speed can be anywhere between 15-28 mph (24.14-45.06 kph).

How much does a Caspian Gull weigh?

This species of gulls, not to be confused with a yellow-legged gull or herring gull, are plump and bulky birds. They weigh 1.5–3.51 lb (680.38-1592.1 g) on average. They are bulkier than laughing gulls.

What are the male and female names of the species?

No sex-specific name has been assigned to male or female gulls. They are simply referred to as male and female gulls.

What would you call a baby Caspian Gull?

Juvenile gulls do not have any particular name. They are simply referred to as chicks.

What do they eat?

Like all other members of the gull family, the Caspian gull is omnivorous in nature. They have a varied range of diets as they feed on whatever they stumble upon in sewage outflows, landfill sites, and garbage dumps. During the breeding season, these birds have been found to fly some distance into the steppes to look for and prey on rodents such as ground squirrels.

Are they dangerous?

These gulls, like glaucous gulls, look like friendly creatures but can be very dangerous if someone disturbs them or their chicks. They may bite, peck, or even strike those who they deem to be potential aggressors.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not a good idea to keep this bird as a pet as it can be quite aggressive and is protected under federal law. So any harm to these birds can land you in trouble with the authorities.

Did you know...

This species of gull has been confused with herring gulls for decades. Ronald Klein first noticed the band around the neck and understood that this large white-headed bird is different from herring gulls. Martin Garner first mentioned these birds in his 1997 'British Birds' research paper and the name of these species gained prominence after being mentioned in Lars Jonsson's paper in the Finnish ornithological, 'Alula'.

How many clutches do seagulls have?

Seagulls are found to mate for life usually with the mating season commencing from early February. The breeding season starts from early May-June with the birds laying a clutch of eggs, consisting of two to three eggs.

How to spot Caspian Gull?

It is easier to spot the first winter birds and the adults of these species. While these points do not serve as exact fundamental laws to identify these birds, the features mentioned will help you to spot these birds. The first winter and young birds have a band of dark streaks in the hind neck and an indistinct line that tart from the head, around the eyes, and across the nape. A long and slender bill is attached to their accentuated forehead.

The adult birds have the same features and some added characteristics such as long, slender pale pink legs as well as a broad black band on the wings.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our dusky grouse facts and herring gull facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable parts the bird coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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