The Mediterranean gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) is a small gull. The scientific name is from Ancient Greek. The genus Ichthyaetus is from ikhthus, "fish", and aetos, "eagle", and the specific melanocephalus is from melas, "black", and -kephalos "-headed".
This gull breeds almost entirely in the Western Palearctic, mainly in the south east, especially around the Black Sea, and in central Turkey. There are colonies elsewhere in southern Europe, and this species has undergone a dramatic range expansion in recent decades. As is the case with many gulls, it has traditionally been placed in the genus Larus.
Formerly restricted to the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean this species has now expanded over most of Europe as far as Great Britain and Ireland, with 37 sites: 543–592 pairs in the United Kingdom in 2008. In Ireland breeding has been recorded in at least four counties. Breeding has also occurred in Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Balkans.
In winter, this bird migrates to Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts.