The name 'common gull' is rather misleading, as this gull is not all that common (5). It is generally similar in appearance to the herring gull (Larus argentatus
) but is smaller, and has a smaller, thinner bill, a more rounded head and more active flight (2). The upperwings are pale grey in colour and have black tips featuring white spots known as 'mirrors' (6). The white head develops grey streaks in winter and the legs and bill are greenish-yellow. Juveniles are greyish brown with brown upperparts (2). The calls produced by common gulls are higher pitched than those of herring gulls; a 'ke ke ke ke kleeeh-a
' call is said to resemble laughter (2).