Slender Billed Gull In Flight – Birding In Goa


Flocks of these Slender-billed Gull look like a sprinkling of shiny silver particles in the sky from a distance, reflecting the sunshine. They can be then seen splitting into smaller groups scanning the surface of lakes and estuaries for food. They are usually seen skimming the food from the surface of the water, they do not dive into the water.

Slender-billed Gull bird in-flight
Slender-billed Gull bird in-flight

Slender-Billed Gull

The typical characteristics are a divinely white-colored body, greyish feathers of unique design, and a black beak. This bird may be about 8-10 inches long and about 2 feet wide with feathers spread out.

It is a social bird and often forms large flocks, particularly outside of the breeding season. It is a noisy bird and its calls include a loud, shrill scream and a high-pitched squeal.

This image of the gull was captured from the new Patto bridge over the Mandovi River at Panjim, Goa. It was scanning the water at the river edge circling over repeatedly thus providing an eye-level view to get a decent image of the bird in flight.

It (Chroicocephalus genei) is a mid-sized gull. This species is 37 to 40 cm long with a 90 to 102 cm wingspan. It is slightly larger than the black-headed gull, which it resembles, although it does not have a black hood in summer. The primary food of the bird is fish. It flies a few meters above the surface of the water and dives into the water when it sees suitable prey.

It is an omnivore and its diet includes a variety of items, such as fish, insects, and small mammals. It also scavenges for food and will often follow fishing boats in the hope of catching scraps.

Often seen by the coastlines and the river estuary of Goa a coastal state. For more bird pictures, see our Birds of India series.

Recommend you read the following travel blog on bird photography & birding in India.


  1. An ornithographer’s delight! I am clicking on that imaginary LOVE button, you can imagine a red heart blinking on and off in delight 🙂


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