Bill stout, compressed, of moderate length, the upper mandible the longer, much curved at the end and usually bent down over the tip of the lower, angle of the lower mandible prominent and near the end of the bill; nostrils oblong, some distance from the base of the mandible. Tarsus of moderate length, scutulated in front; feet large, toes fully webbed, hind toe small and in one genus (not Indian) wanting. Wings long, exceeding the tail.
The Gulls are sea-birds as a rule, though many of them are found about rivers and marshes, and even inland far from water. They are active and noisy, of powerful flight, and many of them are migratory, only two of the species that visit the Indian coasts having been found breeding there. They feed but little on living fish, chiefly on dead fish, Crustacea, and garbage of all kinds floating or on the shore; and inland they eat insects, worms, eggs, weakly or young birds. They habitually rest on the water of sea, lake, or river, though they may often be seen sitting on land, and they walk and swim well.
There is but a single Indian genus.