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Sabine's Gull Xema sabini



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Photos from this Account

Breeding adult

Striking black-headed gull on the breeding grounds in the Arctic. Bill is black with a yellow tip.


Juveniles have a brownish back that appears scaly and a brownish neck. The outer primaries are black, narrowly edged in white.

Breeding adult

Breeding birds in flight have black primaries, white secondaries, and a gray back, all of which form triangular patches of color.


Juveniles in flight look similar to breeding adults, but have paler triangular blocks of color and the tail is tipped in black.

Nonbreeding adult

Nonbreeding birds have black primaries, white secondaries, and a gray back. A smudgy gray partial hood marks the head. The tail is entirely white.

Nonbreeding adults

Resting nonbreeding birds show a smudgy gray partial hood and black wingtips with a touch of white edging. The bill is black with a yellow tip.

Recommended Citation

Sabine's Gull (Xema sabini), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: