Larus ichthyaetus, Pall.
979. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 831 ; Butler, Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 439 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 319.
THE GREAT BLACK-HEADED GULL.
Length, 28.5 to 29 ; wing, 19 to 20 ; tail, 7.5 ; bill, 2.6.
Bill red, yellow at tip, with a black bar across both mandibles ; the extreme tip orange-yellow.
In summer plumage, the whole head and upper neck black; the feathered orbits white; the back and wings blue-grey; the upper tail-coverts and the tail pure white, with a black band ; primaries with a black band increasing in width to the outermost one, which has the whole of the outer web and half of the inner web black ; the rest of the first five primaries white ; the others grey, white tipped ; rest of the plumage pure white.
In winter the head and neck are white, with a few dusky markings down the nape and on the back of the neck ; and the central tail-feathers are sometimes grey.
The young bird has the hoad white with brown streaks, the back and wings grey with brown marks, the tail mottled with brown at its base.
Occurs more or less sparingly all along our coast.