Gulls

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27 records

Gulls are typically called as Seagulls. These are medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls, stout, longish bills, and webbed feet. Gull species range in size from the Little Gull [30 cm] to the Great Black-backed Gull [76 cm].

They are mostly migratory. These birds forage in flight OR pick up objects while swimming, walking OR wading. They also steal food from other birds and frequently scavenge. They are omnivorous; their diet may include insects, fish, grain, eggs, earthworms and rodents.

Records

Belcher's Gull

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Black-headed Gull

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The Black-headed Gull is a small gull which breeds in much of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada. Most of the population is migratory, wintering further south, but some birds in the milder westernmost areas of Europe are resident. Some birds will also spend the winter in northeastern North America, where it was formerly known as the Common Black-headed Gull. As is the case with many gulls, it was previously been placed in the genus Larus.

This gull is 44 cm long with a 105 cm wingspan. In flight, the white leading edge to the wing is a good field mark. The summer adult has a chocolate-brown head (not black, despite the name), pale grey body, black tips to the primary wing feathers, and red bill and legs. The hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks. This is a noisy species, especially at colonies.

It breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species, and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.

The Black-headed Gull is a bold and opportunist feeder and will eat insects, fish, seeds, worms, scraps and carrion in towns, or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish.

This species takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less fully developed dark hood. Like most gulls, Black-headed Gulls are long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 63 years recorded in the wild.

Black-tailed Gull

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Bonaparte's Gull

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Brown-headed Gull

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The Brown-headed Gull is a small gull which breeds in the high plateaus of central Asia from Tajikistan to Ordos in Inner Mongolia. It is migratory, wintering on the coasts and large inland lakes of tropical southern Asia.

This gull breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species, and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.

This is a bold and opportunist feeder, which will scavenge in towns or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish.

The Brown-headed Gull is slightly larger than Black-headed Gull. The summer adult has a pale brown head, lighter than that of Black-headed, a pale grey body, and red bill and legs. The black tips to the primary wing feathers have conspicuous white "mirrors". The underwing is grey with black flight feathers. The brown hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks.

This bird takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less homogeneous hood.

European Herring Gull

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The European Herring Gull is a large gull. It is up to 66 cm long and is the most abundant and best known of all gulls along the shores of western Europe. It breeds across Northern Europe, Western Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic states. Some European Herring Gulls, especially those resident in colder areas, migrate further south in winter, but many are permanent residents, e.g. in the British Isles, Iceland, or on the North Sea shores. European Herring Gulls are also abundant around inland garbage dumps, and some have even adapted to life in inland cities.

Franklin's Gull

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Glaucous Gull

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Glaucous-winged Gull

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The Glaucous-winged Gull is a large, white-headed gull residing from the western coast of Alaska to the coast of Washington. It also breeds on the northwest coast of Alaska. During non-breeding seasons they can be found along the coast of California. It is a close relative of the Western Gull and frequently hybridizes with it, resulting in identification problems — particularly in the Puget Sound area. Glaucous-winged Gulls are thought to live about 15 years.

The Glaucous-winged Gull is rarely found far from saltwater. It is a large bird, measuring 69 cm with a white head, neck, breast, and belly, a white tail, and pearly-gray wings and back. The term glaucous describes its coloration. The ends of its wings are white-tipped. Its legs are pink and the beak is yellow with a red subterminal spot. The forehead is somewhat flat. During the winter, the head and nape appears dusky, and the subterminal spot becomes dark. Young birds are brown or gray with black beaks, and take four years to reach full plumage.

Gray Gull

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Gray-hooded Gull

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Great Black-backed Gull

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Heermann's Gull

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Heuglin's Gull

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Birds in the eastern part of Heuglin's Gull's range are often paler grey above and are frequently considered to be a separate subspecies.

Heuglin's Gulls breed in the tundra of northern Russia from the Kola Peninsula east to the Taymyr Peninsula. They are regularly reported from Finland and may breed there. They migrate south to winter in Southwest, South, East Asia, and East Africa. Small numbers are seen in Southeast Asia, it has been recorded in South Africa and it may occur as a vagrant in Western Europe.

They are large gulls with a rounded head, strong bill and long legs and wings. Length is from 70 cm, wingspan is from 160 cm and body mass is from 1,400 gm. The back and wings are dark grey, variable in shade. In winter the head is only lightly streaked with brown but there is heavier streaking on the hindneck. The legs are usually yellow but can be pink.

Iceland Gull

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Ivory Gull

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Kelp Gull

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The Kelp Gull breeds on coasts and islands through much of the southern hemisphere. It is the southern equivalent of the northern hemisphere's Lesser Black-backed Gull, but averages slightly larger than that species at 65 cm in total length and 142 cm in wingspan. This is a mainly coastal gull. The nest is a shallow depression on the ground lined with vegetation and feathers. The female usually lays 2 or 3 eggs. Both parents feed the young birds.

The adult Kelp Gull has black upperparts and wings. The head, underparts, tail and the small ""mirrors"" at the wing tips are white. The bill is yellow with a red spot, and the legs are greenish-yellow. Juveniles have dull legs, a black bill, a dark band in the tail and an overall grey-brown plumage densely edged whitish, but they rapidly get a pale base to the bill and largely white head and underparts. They take three or four years to reach maturity. Kelp Gulls are omnivores like most Larus gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey. It gathers on landfills and a sharp increase in its population is therefore considered as an indicator for a degraded environment.

Laughing Gull

Total Photos: 4

The Laughing Gull is a medium-sized gull of North and South America. It breeds on the Atlantic coast of North America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Northernmost populations migrate further south in winter, and this species occurs as a rare vagrant to western Europe. The Laughing Gull's name is derived from its raucous kee-agh call, which sounds like a high-pitched laugh ""ha... ha... ha..."".

This species is easy to identify. It is 41 cm long with a 110 cm wingspan. The summer adult's body is white apart from the dark grey back and wings and black head. Its wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the smaller Franklin's Gull, and they have black tips without the white crescent shown by Franklin's. The beak is long and red. The black hood is mostly lost in winter.

Laughing Gulls take three years to reach adult plumage. Immature birds are always darker than most similar-sized gulls other than Franklin's. First-year birds are greyer below and have paler heads than first-year Franklin's, and second-years can be distinguished by the wing pattern and structure.

Laughing Gulls breed in coastal marshes and ponds in large colonies. The large nest, made largely from grasses, is constructed on the ground. The 3 or 4 greenish eggs are incubated for about three weeks. These are omnivores like most gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey.

Pallas's Gull

Total Photos: 4

This species breeds in colonies in marshes and islands from southern Russia to Mongolia. It is migratory, wintering in the eastern Mediterranean, Arabia and India. This gull nests on the ground, laying between two and four eggs.

This is a very large gull, being easily the world's largest black-headed gull and the third largest species of gull in the world, after the Great Black-backed Gull and the Glaucous Gull. It measures 75 cm in length with a 170 cm wingspan and weighing 2.5 kg.

Summer adults are unmistakable, since no other gull of this size has a black hood. The adults have grey wings and back, with conspicuous white mirrors at the wing tips. The legs are yellow and the bill is red.

Ring-billed Gull

Total Photos: 13

The Ring-billed Gull is a medium-sized gull. Their breeding habitat is near lakes, rivers or the coast in Canada and the northern United States. They nest colonially on the ground, often on islands. This bird tends to be faithful to its nesting site, if not its mate, from year to year.

Adults are 49 cm length and with a 124 cm wingspan. The head, neck and underparts are white; the relatively short bill is yellow with a dark ring; the back and wings are silver gray; and the legs are yellow. The eyes are yellow with red rims. This gull takes three years to reach its breeding plumage; its appearance changes with each fall moult.

They are migratory and most move south to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America, also the Great Lakes.

This gull is a regular wanderer to western Europe. In Ireland and Great Britain it is no longer classed as a rarity, with several birds regularly wintering in these countries.

These birds forage in flight or pick up objects while swimming, walking or wading. They also steal food from other birds and frequently scavenge. They are omnivorous; their diet may include insects, fish, grain, eggs, earthworms and rodents. These birds are opportunistic and have adapted well to taking food discarded or even left unattended by people. It is regarded as a pest by many beach-goers because of its willingness to steal unguarded food on highly crowded beaches. The gull's natural enemies are rats, foxes, cats, raccoons, coyotes, eagles, and dogs.

It is probably the most common gull in North America. In some areas, it is displacing less aggressive birds such as the Common Tern.

Ross's Gull

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Slaty-backed Gull

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Swallow-tailed Gull

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Thayer's Gull

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Western Gull

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Yellow-footed Gull

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Yellow-legged Gull

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The Yellow-legged Gull is a large gull of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, which has only recently achieved wide recognition as a distinct species.

The breeding range is centered around the Mediterranean Sea. In North Africa it is common in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia and increasing in places. Recent breeding has occurred in Libya and Egypt. In the Middle East a few breed in Israel and Syria with larger numbers in Cyprus and Turkey. In Europe there are colonies all along the Mediterranean coast, and also on the Atlantic islands and coasts north to Brittany and west to the Azores. It also breeds on the west side of the Black Sea; here it overlaps with the Caspian Gull but there is a difference in habitat, with the Yellow-legged Gull preferring sea cliffs and Caspian Gull on flatter shores. In recent decades birds have spread north into central and western Europe.