The smallest of the gulls, the Little Gull has a short, narrow bill, red legs, and a short tail. In breeding plumage, the adult has a dark hood with a black eye and bill. Non-breeding plumage is similar, but the head is white, smudged with black, with a black ear-spot behind the eye. The body coloration is typical of gull plumage from above, but both breeding and non-breeding adults have dark underwings with pale wingtips, which are distinctive in flight. Juveniles are mottled dark brown, mixed with varying degrees of adult plumage characteristics. In flight, juveniles have a dark ‘W’ across the underwing.