Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Brown-headed gull

Thai: นกนางนวลธรรมดา, nok naang nuan tam-ma-daa

Binomial name: Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus, Thomas Caverhill Jerdon, 1840

The brown-headed gull, Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus, is a small gull which breeds in the high plateaus of central Asia from Tajikistan to Ordos in Inner Mongolia. It is migratory, wintering on the coasts and large inland lakes of tropical southern Asia. As is the case with many gulls, was traditionally placed in the genus Larus.

This gull breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species, and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.

This is a bold and opportunist feeder, which will scavenge in towns or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish.

The brown-headed gull is slightly larger than black-headed gull. The summer adult has a pale brown head, lighter than that of black-headed, a pale grey body, and red bill and legs. The black tips to the primary wing feathers have conspicuous white "mirrors". The underwing is grey with black flight feathers. The brown hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks.

This bird takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less homogeneous hood.

This is a noisy species, especially at colonies.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Charadriiformes
Family
Laridae
Genus
Chroicocephalus
Species
Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus

Common names

  • Thai: นกนางนวลธรรมดา, nok naang nuan tam-ma-daa

Synonyms

  • Larus brunnicephalus

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Brown-headed gull

Brown-headed gull

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Thai National Parks

Brown-headed gull - Bang Pu, Bangkok

Brown-headed gull - Bang Pu, Bangkok

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Thai National Parks

Brown-headed gull

Brown-headed gull

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Thai National Parks

Brown-headed gull

Brown-headed gull

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Thai National Parks

Distribution map of Brown-headed gull, Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Bang Pa In District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Phra Non-hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bangkok Province
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Dan Chang District, Suphan Buri
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Klaeng District, Rayong
  • Ko Samui District, Surat Thani
  • Ko Sichang District, Chonburi
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area
  • Pak Thale
  • Pran Buri Forest Park
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • Sattahip District, Chonburi
  • Thale Noi Non-hunting Area
  • Than Sadet - Koh Pha-Ngan National Park
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani

Range map of Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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