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Lava gull

Lava gull in Galapagos
© Luis Ortiz Catedral

Common name:

Lava gull

Scientific name:

Leucophaeus fuliginosus

Spanish name:

Gaviota de lava

Conservation status:



Average lifespan:

49 years

Average size:

53 centimetres

Maximum size:

55 centimetres

Average weight:

380 grams


The endemic Galapagos lava gull is a medium-sized gull and a member of the hooded gull group. The lava gull is easily distinguishable by the white line on the leading edge of its grey wings, and the crimson colouring on the inside of its mouth. Adult plumage features a sooty brown to black head, dark grey wings with a white line on the leading-edge, pale grey belly, white upper tail, brown lower tail, black bill and legs, the inside of the mouth is scarlet, and the upper and lower eyebrows are white. 

The Galapagos lava gull is found predominantly on four islands – Santa Cruz, Genovesa, San Cristobal and Isabela – though it has been spotted all across the Archipelago.

Lava gulls in Galapagos

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