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Gulls and their Allies Photographed in Wetland and Coastal Habitat

Nine species of gull from the Laridae family, Charadriiformes order feature in the galleries. The first gallery shows Australian silver and New Zealand red-billed gulls; the latter is a disputed separate species or subspecies. Gallery two and three feature single species where the images show specific feeding or nesting behaviour. The last gallery features one or images of a single species including a skimmer and two species of tern. All the bird images are of birds that are ICUN categorised as least concern.

Silver and Red-Billed Gull

Birdlife International (Ref 2) only recognise Larus novaehollandiae for both the silver and red-billed gulls. Larus novaehollandiae was previously split as L. novaehollandiae and L. n. scopulinus following Sibley and Monroe (1990) et al but now lumped with Larus novaehollandiae IOC World Birds List (Ref 4). The two separate species are listed in Sibley and Monroe, Clements and eBirds checklists but not the IOC World Birds List.

The common name for these gulls is silver gull in Australia and red-billed gull in New Zealand, I use both common names depending on where I photographed them.

These wide spread birds inhabit both coastal and inland locations; The Australian silver gulls were nesting in the grassy areas around the Nobbies on Philip Island. Red-billed gulls are common along the New Zealand's coasts.

Herring Gulls

The Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) was renamed European Herring Gull following the split of Arctic Herring Gull (L. smithsonianus) IOC World Birds List (Ref 4). It was previously lumped as L. argentatus Sibley and Monroe checklist (Ref 8). The Arctic Herring Gull is known as the American Herring Gull by American Ornithologists (L. smithsonianus or L. a. smithsonianus).

The gallery includes a single image of the European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) that I photographed on the West Coast of France in 1991 using Kodachrome slide film.

I photographed the Arctic Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) on both the East and West Coasts of Canada; The white-necked bird in Vancouver's harbour area and the brown/grey mottled-necked birds at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Both adult and immature birds at Point Pleasant were taking mussels from the shoreline rocks, flying up to gain height so that when the birds dropped the mussels onto the stony beach they to shatter exposing the flesh.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Photographed on Skomer Island in the early nineties where the breed on coastal ledges and grass areas. These omnivorous birds are opportunistic feeders with a wide variety of food including fish, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. On Skomer they harass the puffins to steal their fish catch.

The series of images in the gallery feature adults, their nests, eggs, chicks and fledgling birds.

Gulls, Terns and Skimmers

The final gallery features a couple of images of kelp gulls and the white-fronted tern that I photographed in New Zealand. The little tern was photographed in Australia and the laughing gull and black skimmer on the Waterloo Orange Valley mud flats in Trinidad.The final gallery features two images of kelp gulls and a white-fronted tern that I photographed in New Zealand. The little tern was photographed in Australia, the laughing gull and black skimmer on the Waterloo Orange Valley mud flats in Trinidad. The black-headed gull in winter plumage I photographed at Moore Green Lakes in Berkshire.

Featured Gulls, Terns and Skimmers, Charadriiformes order

Laridae (Gulls and Terns) family

Arctic Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus)

European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)

Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) NZ common name is (Southern) Black-backed Gull

Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla)

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

Silver Gull, (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)

Red-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus scopulinus)

White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata)


Abbreviations

IOC: International community of ornithologists

IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature

Silver Gull, (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), in flight at Philip Island, Victoria, Australia, 2013 Red-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), immature flying at Kaikoura Pelagic, New Zealand, 2015 Red-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), flying at Kaikoura Pelagic, New Zealand, 2015 Silver Gull, (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), flying at Philip Island, Victoria, Australia, 2013 Red-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), Stewart Island, Southland, New Zealand, 2015 Silver Gull, (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), collecting nest material at Philip Island, Victoria, Australia, 2013 Silver Gull, (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), on nest at Philip Island, Victoria, Australia, 2013 Immature Red-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand, 2012 Arctic Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus), Vancouver, Canada, 2009 Arctic Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus), Gaining Height with Mussel, Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2008 Arctic Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus), Gaining Height with Mussel, Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2008 Immature Arctic Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus), Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2008 Arctic Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus), Flying off with Cracked Mussel, Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2008 European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), West coast, France, 1991 Arctic Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus), Picking Mussels from the Beach, Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2008 Immature Arctic Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus), Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2008 Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1994 Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Adult with chick in nest, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1994 Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Adult at nest with chick, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1994 Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Fledgling, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1994 Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Chick and eggs, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1994 Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Nest with eggs, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1994 Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Adult and fledgling, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1994 Little Tern (Sternula albifrons), Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia, 2013 Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), flying Kaikoura Pelagic, New Zealand, 2015 Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand, 2012 White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata), Waipapa Point, Otago, New Zeeland, 2015 Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) and Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla), Waterloo Orange Valley Mud Flats, Trinidad, 2015 Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla), Waterloo Orange Valley Mud Flats, Trinidad, 2015 Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), winter plumage, Moore Green Lakes, Berkshire, England, 2012