Red-billed Gull

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Red-billed Gull
Missing image
Red-billed_Gull.jpg
Red-billed Gull


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Laridae
Genus:Larus
Species:L. scopulinus
Binomial name
Larus scopulinus
Forster,, 1844

The Red-billed Gull Larus scopulinus is a native of New Zealand, being found throughout the country and on outlying islands including the Chatham Islands and Sub-antarctic islands.

The Red-billed Gull is a fairly small gull with an all-red bill, red legs and feet, pale grey wings, and black wingtips. There is virtually no sexual dimorphism. It is the smallest gull commonly seen in New Zealand; a recent estimate of the population puts it at half a million birds in the country. Until recently it was regarded as a subspecies of the Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae found in Australia, and the two species are very similar in appearance. However the most recent research suggests that they are not particularly closely related (see Shirihai, 2002).

Behaviorally, the Red-Billed gull is a typical gull. It is an aggressive scavenger and kleptoparasite. Large numbers now live in towns and cities (most New Zealand cities are coastal or nearly so), feeding out of rubbish bins. Nesting is in large colonies; the birds form pair bonds which endure across seasons, but there is a certain amount of extra-pair copulation. Courtship feeding is an important part of the preparation for mating.

External links

Picture (http://home.planet.nl/~mkramer/pic/Redbilled_Gull.jpg)

References

  • Mills, J. A. (1994). Extra-pair copulations in the Red-Billed Gull: Females with high-quality, attentive males resist. Behaviour, 128, 41-64.
  • Shirihai, H. (2002). A complete guide to Antarctic wildlife Oy, Finland: Alula Press
  • Tasker, C. R., & Mills, J. A. (1981). A functional analysis of courtship feeding in the Red-billed Gull, Larus Novaehollandiae scopulinus. Behaviour, 77, 222fffr:Mouette scopuline
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