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Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus) | by Elliot Montieth
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Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus)

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Little Gulls hence the name are the worlds smallest gull with a mass of 68 – 160 g (adults) and a length of 25 – 30 cm. The original population of Little Gull was within the Western Palearctic and Siberia. However their range began to expand and in 1819 the first record for North America was discovered and in 1962 the first recorded breeding was found.


In comparison to the USA over in the UK the Little Gull has always remained a passage (200-700) and wintering (400-800), with the occasional summer singles and on the rare occasion a pair will over summer. Breeding attempts have been made in the past on the several occasions in the north and west of Scotland, but unfortunately no young were successfully fledged. With the breeding range of Little Gull spreading westwards it came of no surprise that in 2016 Little Gull bread successful for the first time in the UK with a single raising 2 young at a RSPB reserve in Scotland.


The 1st summer bird which is showing signs of adult plumage (black hood starting to form & pale grey mantle), is the bird which has been lingering around RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire, England for the past 5 weeks now with the breeding colony of Black-headed Gulls. This is to my knowledge this bird is the longest staying bird in the countries recorded history.

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Taken on April 13, 2017