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Seagulls

Gulls are seabirds in the family Laridae. They are most closely related to the terns (family Sternidae), and more distantly to the waders, auks and skimmers. Most gulls belong to the large genus Larus. In common usage, members of various gull species are often called sea gulls or seagulls. This name is used by lay people to refer to a common local species or all gulls in general, and has no fixed taxonomic meaning. Gulls are, in general, medium to large birds, typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Seagull Food: Most gulls, particularly Larus species, are ground nesting carnivores, which will take live food or scavenge opportunistically (often leading them to piles of garbage). The live food often includes crabs and small fish. Land Lovebirds: Apart from the kittiwakes, gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing far out to sea. The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage,but two years is typical for small gulls. Ain't No Bird Brain: Gulls—the larger species in particular —are resourceful and highly intelligent birds, demonstrating complex methods of communication and a highly-developed social structure. Certain species (e.g. the Herring Gull) have exhibited tool use behavior. Many species of gull have learned to co-exist successfully with man and have thrived in human habitats. The Common Gull: The Common Gull, Larus canus is a medium-sized gull which breeds in the northwest of North America (where it is called Mew Gull), Europe and Asia. It migrates further south in winter. Classification Confusion: The Common Gull comprises three populations, sometimes considered distinct species: Larus canus canus, the Common Gull, of western Eurasia; L. c. kamschatschensis, the "Kamchatka Gull", of eastern Eurasia; and L. c. brachyrhynchus, the "Short-billed Gull", which breeds in Alaska and western Canada. The European race occurs as a scarce winter visitor to coastal eastern Canada and as a vagrant to the northeastern USA. To Tree, Or Not To Tree... This species breeds colonially near water or in marshes, making a lined nest on the ground or in a tree. Just the Facts: At 43cm in length and with a 120cm wingspan, it is considerably smaller than the Herring Gull. Adult Common Gulls are gray above and white below. Their legs are greenish. They have black wing-tips with large white "mirrors", particularly in American birds. Young birds have scaly black-brown upper parts and a neat wing pattern. They take three years to reach maturity. The call is a high-pitched "laughing" cry. Finders Keepers: These are omnivores like most Larus gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey. What's in a Name? Two terms are in common usage among gull enthusiasts for sub groupings of the gulls: Large white-headed gulls: 16 Herring Gull-like species from Great Black-backed Gull to Lesser Black-backed Gull White-winged gulls: The two Arctic-breeding species Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull Love Has No Boundaries: Hybridization between species of gull occurs quite frequently, although to varying degrees depending on the species involved (see Hybridization in gulls). The taxonomy of the large white-headed gulls is particularly complicated.

Seagulls
Seagulls








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