Other Names: none
Distribution: central Eurasia in summer; coasts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and parts of Canada in winter. A nonmigratory population exists in western Europe.
Size: 35-39 cm in length with a 86-99 cm wingspan.
Plumage: Both sexes have a gray back and wings and flashing white primary flight feathers. In summer, the head is dark brown; in winter, the head becomes white. The bill and legs are red and the eyes are black with white eyerings. Juveniles are darker above, but show some white in the flight feathers and have a narrow black tip to the tail. In all plumages, the underside of the wings are blackish.