The White-eyed gull, Ichthyaetus leucophthalmus is a small gull that is endemic to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. It is one of the world’s rarest gulls, with a population of about 6.000 pairs. The major threats are human pressure and oil pollution.

The white-eyed gull acquires adult plumage at two to three years of age. Juvenile birds have a different plumage, brown on the head, neck and breast, with brown, broadly pale-fringed, feathers to the upperparts and upperwings, and a black tail. In their first winter, birds acquire greyer feathering on their head, breast and upperparts; the second-winter plumage is closer to the adult birds.

A distinctive feature of white-eyed gull at all ages is its long slender bill. This is black in younger birds, but in adults it is deep red with a black tip. The legs are yellow—dullest in younger birds, brightest in adults. The eye itself is not white; the bird takes its name from white eye-crescents, which are present at all ages.

The white-eyed gull breeds on inshore islands with rocks and sandy beaches, such as the Siyal Islands, in the Red Sea from July to September. For the rest of the year it occurs throughout the Red Sea.


Body length 39–43 cm, wingspan 100–109 cm.


Mewa białooka, Ichthyaetus leucophthalmus to gatunek ptaka wodnego z rodziny mewowatych (Laridae), występujący na Morzu Czerwonym i Zatoce Adeńskiej.

Lęgi odbywa na położonych na tych akwenach przybrzeżnych wyspach.

Gatunek bardzo rzadki. Międzynarodowa Unia Ochrony Przyrody (IUCN) od 2018 roku klasyfikuje mewę białooką jako gatunek najmniejszej troski. Liczebność światowej populacji szacuje się na około 6.500 par. Trend liczebności populacji uznawany jest za stabilny.


Długość ciała 39–43 cm, rozpiętość skrzydeł 100–109 cm.

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