SOUTHERN BLACK-BACKED GULL

SOUTHERN BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus dominicanus) – (See images below)
The Southern Black-Backed Gull (or kelp gull) is about 24 inches long, and adults are white with a black back. However the juveniles look very different, as can be seen below. It is a gull of the southern hemisphere. This gull is omnivorous which includes being also a scavenger. High numbers of them near landfills is not a good environmental sign. Those birds have also been observed pecking into the blubber of live whales, leaving them with large open sores.

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’). The Latin genus name ‘Larus’ means ‘gull’.

Southern black-backed gull immatures - Paihia, NZ
Southern black-backed gull immatures – Paihia, NZ
Southern black-backed gull immature - New Plymouth, NZ
Southern black-backed gull immature – New Plymouth, NZ

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