The ivory gull is a medium-sized gull; adults have a length of about 40-43 cm and weigh 450-700 g. Males and females look alike and have a pure white plumage with black legs. The eyes are dark and the bill is generally slate blue at the base, becomes pale yellow and ends with a red tip. Immature birds have a dusky face and black spots on the breast and flanks, as well as on the tips of the primaries, tail and outer wing coverts, although the extent of speckling is highly variable among individuals. Ivory gulls acquire adult plumage during their second winter. The ivory gulls round chest, short legs and rolling gait gives it a pigeon-like appearance when on the ground. In the air, however, they have a graceful and agile flight.