During the breeding season, the little gull feeds mainly on insects, including dragonflies, beetles and midges, and it may also take small fish and marine invertebrates during winter (2) (3). This species feeds by dipping to the water’s surface to catch prey, by plucking prey from the surface while swimming, or sometimes by plunge-diving into the water (2) (3). It may also take insects in the air, and is often seen foraging with other small gull species, especially during winter (3).
The little gull usually arrives at its breeding grounds from late April to May, and breeds from late June, either in solitary pairs or in small colonies, often with other gulls and terns (2) (3) (4) (6). The nest is typically built on the ground in wet vegetation, close to or even on water, often floating at the edge of emergent vegetation (2) (3). Clutch size is usually between 1 and 3 eggs (2), or sometimes up to 4 (3) (5), and the eggs hatch after 23 to 25 days (2). The chicks are well developed on hatching, and able to leave the nest within a few days (3) (5), although they are unable to fly until around 21 to 24 days old and remain dependent on the adults for a further few weeks (2). The little gull does not begin to breed until two to three years of age (2) (3). After the breeding season, little gulls often gather in small flocks, although larger groups of hundreds or even thousands of individuals also sometimes form (2) (3) (6).