A big, pale, deep-chested, long-winged gull with long-sloping forehead and strong black and orangetipped yellow bill. Breeding adult has black head and white eye rings. In non-breeders head turns dusky. Pale grey above with whiter outer wing and few black wing spots near tips. Immature browner but still pale and shows grey mantle and wing panel. Often solitary, but readily mixes with smaller gulls and terns. Scavenges fish waste and robs others for fish. Heavy buoyant heron-like flight.