The little gull, or Hydrocoloeus minutus, is a small species of seagull found in many different countries of the world. It typically lives in low-lying wetlands that contain fresh water. It is here that the animal feeds on insects, lays eggs, and raises its young. This bird is normally white with gray or black feathers on its head, wings, and tail. It can have long thin legs and webbed feet similar to that of a duck.
Where this bird is located can largely depend on what season it is. This is because it is a migratory type of seagull, which means it moves from place to place as weather conditions change. During the summer, it can typically be found in northern European and Asian countries. During the winter, this species normally migrates to countries in western Europe, northern Africa, or the northeastern United States.
No matter in what country a little gull is located, it generally prefers to live in freshwater marshes. This is because the vegetation at the edge of these waters often gives this bird cover. As such, the female of this species generally lays her eggs in dense grassy areas. In a typical season, anywhere from two to six eggs may be laid. The freshwater marshes also serve as a food source, as the bird also skims insects off the top of the water and may even catch those along the water's edge or that fly close to the ground.
A little gull is normally a dingy shade of white on its body. When it is young, the feathers on its head and tail are normally black. It usually has a "W" on its wings, which are typically light gray in color. As the bird matures, the feathers on its head and tail may be replaced with gray ones.
The legs and feet of a little gull somewhat resemble that of a duck. These parts may be dark red or orange in color. They allow this species to be a very good swimmer and to spend a great deal of time wading in shallow water.
This bird is typically very small, ranging from 9.84 to 10.63 inches (about 25 to 27 cm) in length. It normally weighs anywhere from 20.74 to 40.57 ounces (about 68 to 133 grams) when fully mature. The wingspan of the animal can be between 30 to 32 inches (about 75 to 80 cm) when fully extended.