RED-BILLED GULL

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.

Red-billed gulls fighting for food scraps left by tourists at Houhora Harbour, North Island, New Zealand.
Red-billed gulls fighting for food scraps left by tourists at Houhora Harbour, North Island, New Zealand.
This is part of the colony on a rock off the Kaikoura Peninsula. The rock is white from bird guano. The colony also is home to the black-billed gull. NZ
This is part of the colony on a rock off the Kaikoura Peninsula. The rock is white from bird guano. The colony also is home to the black-billed gull. NZ
Once the red-billed gulls are done with the food scraps, the waste will get scattered by the wind. Houhora Harbour, NZ
Once the red-billed gulls are done with the food scraps, the waste will get scattered by the wind. Houhora Harbour, NZ
Red-billed gulls - Christchuch Botanic Garden, NZ
Red-billed gulls – Christchuch Botanic Garden, NZ
Red-billed gull on a rocky edge. From the amount of guano, it seems like a favorite hangout spot for the birds. Kaikoura Peninsula, NZ
Red-billed gull on a rocky edge. From the amount of guano, it seems like a favorite hangout spot for the birds. Kaikoura Peninsula, NZ
Very informative signs were posted in various shore areas at the Kaikoura Peninsula. This one is about the largest red-billed gull colony. NZ
Very informative signs were posted in various shore areas at the Kaikoura Peninsula. This one is about the largest red-billed gull colony. NZ
The distinctive (dark) red circle around the yellow eye of the red-billed gull. Christchurch Botanic Garden. NZ
The distinctive (dark) red circle around the yellow eye of the red-billed gull. Christchurch Botanic Garden. NZ

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