A small, hooded gull, the Franklin’s Gull has wings and back are dark gray, contrasting with a white tail, belly, and neck, red legs, and black wingtips. In breeding plumage, the adult’s head is solid black with a deep red bill and a black ring. The eye is characterized by white crescents above and below it. In non-breeding plumage, the head of the adult is white smudged with black. Juveniles are mottled-brown mixed with varying degrees of adult plumage characteristics. It is the only gull that goes through a complete molt in both the fall and the spring.