basic information

Pallas's Gull

Larus ichthyaetus (Pallas, 1773)

Черноголовый хохотун | Қарабас өгізшағала
adult summer

Shalkar Lake, Terekti region, West Kazakhstan oblast
© Askar Isabekov


Episadically breeds in southern part of Kazakhstan, in north up Kushum mouth, area between Utva and Ilek rivers, Zharkol and Zhaman lakes (Naurzum Reserve), Tengiz lake, Malybay and Karasor lakes in Pavlodar oblast and Alakol depression. On dispersal and migration occurs everywhere, including the mountain lakes of Southern Altai. In small number wintering on Caspian Sea, in south of Mangyshlak.


Rare breeding migrant. Inhabits Caspian seaside, the large salty and fresh lakes, reservoirs; prefers the fishy waters with small islands. On migration occurs also on banks of rivers and small lakes. In spring arrives in mid-February – March in southern parts of breeding range; and in April on northern ones. Migrates in small flocks or singly. Breeds in dense colonies, sometimes numbering up to several thousand pairs, on bare or covered by scarce grass islands, together with other gulls, terns and waders often. Nest is built in shallow hole and is lined with dry grass and pieces of reed stems, at 15-20 cm one from another. Clutches of 1-3 (usually 2-3) eggs is produced in mid-April – May. Both parents incubate for about a month and care for juveniles, which hatch in May – June and begin to fly in July – early August. Autumn migration begins in August and continues until the freezing of reservoirs, latest birds recorded in end October – mid-November.


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург. Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.


other names

Great Black-headed Gull

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