November 19, 2016 – Red-billed Gull or Mackerel Gull (Chroicocephalus scopulinus or Larus novaehollandiae)

Sometimes considered a subspecies of the Silver Gull, these birds are found in New Zealand and surrounding islands. They eat a variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals, including squid, jellyfish and anemones, insects, crustaceans, arachnids, small fish, frogs, and birds. One of the smallest and most common gulls in New Zealand, they are often seen in coastal towns scavenging on trash. Breeding pairs are monogamous and form long-lasting bonds. On the mainland, breeding takes place in large colonies, but on smaller islands breeding pairs nest alone or in small groups, probably to avoid predation. Males and females spend about equal time nest building, incubating eggs, and caring for the chicks.


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