Sunday, 23 January 2011

Silver gull

Larus novaehollandiae

Photo by J.J. Harrison (Wikipedia)

Common name:

Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae

The silver gull is found throughout Australia and tasmania, not only in coastal areas, but also inland. they are also present in New Zealand and New Caledonia.

This medium-sized gull is 40-45 cm long and has a wingspan of 91-96 cm. They weigh up to 350 g.

The silver gull is found at virtually any watered habitat, both coastal, insular and inland, but it is rarely seen far from land. They have also adapted well to urban environments and thrive around shopping centres and garbage dumps.

Originally these birds would mostly feed on fish, plankton, worms, insects and crustaceans. However, they are now mostly scavengers of human garbage.

Silver gulls breed in August-December. The nest is built by both parents, a simple cup on the ground made of seaweed, roots and pant stems. Nests may be found in low scrubs, rocks and jetties. Each clutch consists of 1-3 pale eggs blotched with black and brown. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 21-27 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and become independent at 6 weeks of age. This species produces two clutches per season.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a population of 100.000-1.000.000 individuals and a very large breeding range. The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends.

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