Birds of Oman home   Bird names   News    Family groups 1-26    Tips   Glossary   Plumage   Thumbnails    General information    Credits    PHOTOS FOR SALE
NON-PASSERINES     1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10     11     12     13     14 15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24    25    26    PASSERINES
Common names sorted alphabetically: B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   R   S   T   V   W  


Sooty Gull

(Ichthyaetus [Larus] hemprichii)
Alternate name(s): "Aden Gull", "Hemprich's Gull"
Size: 42-45 cm; wing span 1.05-1.15 m
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Sooty Gull at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information



Sex unknown


Lateral view of an adult Sooty Gull; note the sooty black head which is characteristic of this species' plumage, the white neck and the red tip on the bill typical of adults
[Quriyyat, May 2010]

Near-dorsal view of a Sooty Gull in breeding plumage
[Quriyyat, May 2010]

Lateral/ventral view of a Sooty Gull in flight
[Sur, May 2010]

Near-dorsal view of a Sooty Gull in breeding plumage in flight
[Quriyyat, May 2010]


This near-adult (see tip of bill) Sooty Gull favoured its right leg, limping on the left
[Ras Al-Hadd, May 2010]

Frontal view of a second-winter Sooty Gull; note the black bill and the absence of any scalloping on the wing coverts
[Ras Al-Hadd, May 2010]

Close-up lateral view of a second-year Sooty Gull
[Ras Al-Hadd, May 2010]

Near-dorsal view of a second-winter Sooty Gull
[Quriyyat, May 2010]

Near-dorsal view of an immature Sooty Gull landing on a beach
[Ras Al-Hadd, May 2010]

Direct comparison between four second-year Caspian Gulls and two second-year Sooty Gulls, front right
[Ras Al-Hadd, May 2010]

Food, Diet

Like all gulls, Sooty Gulls are opportunistic. They will feed on anything from carrion and discarded entrails to fish, chicks of other bird species and eggs.

Second-winter Sooty Gull competing for carrion with a Sanderling
[Ras Al-Hadd, May 2010]

Second-winter Sooty Gull and Sanderling coming to a peaceful agreement: "I'll have this one, you take that!"
[Ras Al-Hadd, May 2010]

Truncated lateral view of a Sooty Gull scavenging on a beach
[Ras Al-Hadd, May 2010]

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.