Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
| Larus minutus|
The Little Gull, Larus minutus, is a small gull which breeds in northern Europe and Asia. It also has colonies in parts of northern Canada. It is migratory, wintering on coasts in western Europe, the Mediterranean and the northeast USA.
This species breeds colonially on freshwater marshes, making a lined nest on the ground amongst vegetation. Normally, 2-6 eggs are laid.
This is a very small species, pale grey in breeding plumage with a black hood, dark underwings and often a pinkish flush on the breast. In winter, the head goes white apart from a darker cap and eye-spot. The bill is thin and black and the legs dark red. The flight on rounded wings is somewhat tern-like.
Young birds have black markings on the head and upperparts, and "W" pattern across the wings. They take three years to reach maturity.
These gulls pick food off the water surface, and will also catch insects in the air like a Black Tern.
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