203 Caspian Gull
(Larus cachinnans)


55-60cm. Caspian Gull has four age-groups. About as large as Yellow-legged or Herring Gull. The Caspian Gull has a long, slender bill, accentuated by the sloping forehead. The legs, wings and neck are longer than those of the Herring Gull and Yellow-legged Gull. The eye is small and often dark, the legs vary from pale pink to a pale yellowish colour. The back and wings are a slightly darker shade of grey than the Herring Gull but slightly paler than the Yellow-legged Gull. The outermost primary feather has a large white tip and a white tongue running up the inner web.


The Caspian Gull has been nesting in growing numbers at the Hortobágy Fishponds since 2003. Frequent spring (mid-February to April) and autumn (Late-July to November) migrant. Appearing predominantly at extensive fishponds in the eastern parts of Hungary (Szeged, Biharugra, Hortobágy). Rarely occurs in summer, but common in winter. More sporadic west of the Tisza River, and mainly a winter visitor in low numbers along the Danube. Compared to Yellow-legged Gull its abundance varies both within the country and within the different regions. More confined to extensive fishponds than Yellow-legged Gull and rarely occurs in dry habitats.

203 Caspian Gull pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008