November 18, 2017 – Black-billed Gull (Larus bulleri)

These gulls are found only in New Zealand on parts of the North and South Islands and on Stewart and Snares Islands. Often foraging in large flocks, they eat earthworms, insects, small fish, and aquatic invertebrates. They often follow plows on farmland to catch invertebrates disturbed by the machines. Nesting in dense colonies, pairs build twig and grass nests in depressions near rivers or lakes. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. Although the chicks can breed at two years of age, they usually do not until they are three to six. They are classified as Endangered by the IUCN due to rapid declines in their population during the last few decades, caused by predation, disturbance, and habitat degradation at their nesting colonies.