RED-BILLED GULL (Chroicocephalus scopulinus)
The red-billed gull (or mackarel gull) is a small gull about the same size as the black-billed gull. In addition to the red bill and legs, it has a red circle around its yellow eyes. It is native to New Zealand and widespread. It nests in large colonies, at times with the black-billed gull, with which they can interbreed. As with many gulls, it is a scavenger that has adapted well to human habitats. The red-billed gull is also a ‘kleptoparasite’ (parasite by theft), i.e. it will steal the food caught by other birds.
NAME: The English name ‘Gull’ would have its origins in Old Celtic ‘Gullan’ and other languages, including Latin ‘gula’ for throat. As per Choate this would be related to the gull’s ‘indiscriminate’ scavenging habits, its ‘willingness to swallow almost anything’ (think ‘gullible’).