Ross’s Gull

Ross’s Gull Rhodostethia rosea is a petite gull of the high Arctic, very rarely seen in China on northeast coast. Larger than Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus, with a more elongated, cigar-shaped body and a wedge-shaped tail. Non-breeding adult has large black eye patch engulfing eye, from a distance making eye appear large; retains pink tinge below. First-winter has brown M shape on upper wings and black tip to tail. Breeding adults distinguished by pink underparts and black “necklace” around white head. First-winter Black-legged Kittiwake and Little Gull share M pattern on upper wings, but kittiwake larger, with shallowly forked tail; first-winter Little Gull has black bar across entire tail. BARE PARTS Bill very short, black; legs red in adult, pink in younger birds. VOICE Usually silent outside breeding season. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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