The common gull (Larus canus) or sea mew looks like a small, gentler version of the herring gull, with greenish legs and a yellow bill. Despite its name, the common gull is not as common as some of our other gulls. The name common was coined by Thomas Pennant in 1768 because he considered it the most numerous of its genus. The scientific name is from Latin. Larus appears to have referred to a gull or other large seabird, and canus is grey. Common gulls are silvery-grey above and white below, with a white head (streaky during the winter) and black wingtips. They are smaller than the similar herring gull, and have greenish-yellow legs and a yellow bill. It breeds in the Palearctic, northern Europe, and northwestern North America.