Laridae – Gulls, Terns and Skimmers

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) by W Kwong

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) by W Kwong

the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after their kinds; (Deuteronomy 14:15 NKJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – CHARADRIIFORMES, Family – Laridae – Gulls, Terns & Skimmers

*100 Percent of Photos
Latest I.O.C. Version
Species (101)

Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus)
Lesser Noddy (Anous tenuirostris)
Black Noddy (Anous minutus)
Blue Noddy (Anous ceruleus)
Grey Noddy (Anous albivitta)
White Tern (Gygis alba)
Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)
African Skimmer (Rynchops flavirostris)
Indian Skimmer (Rynchops albicollis)
Swallow-tailed Gull (Creagrus furcatus)
Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
Red-legged Kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris)
Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
Sabine’s Gull (Xema sabini)
Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei)
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)
Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)
Black-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus bulleri)
Andean Gull (Chroicocephalus serranus)
Brown-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus)
Brown-hooded Gull (Chroicocephalus maculipennis)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Grey-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)
Hartlaub’s Gull (Chroicocephalus hartlaubii)
Saunders’s Gull (Chroicocephalus saundersi)
Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus)
Ross’s Gull (Rhodostethia rosea)
Dolphin Gull (Leucophaeus scoresbii)
Lava Gull (Leucophaeus fuliginosus)
Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla)
Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)
Grey Gull (Leucophaeus modestus)
Relict Gull (Ichthyaetus relictus)
Audouin’s Gull (Ichthyaetus audouinii)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Pallas’s Gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus)
White-eyed Gull (Ichthyaetus leucophthalmus)
Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii)
Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus)
Belcher’s Gull (Larus belcheri)
Olrog’s Gull (Larus atlanticus)
Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassirostris)
Heermann’s Gull (Larus heermanni)
Mew Gull (Larus canus)
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
California Gull (Larus californicus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus)
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)
Yellow-footed Gull (Larus livens)
Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)
Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides)
European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus)
Vega Gull (Larus vegae)
Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Armenian Gull (Larus armenicus)
Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)
Australian Tern (Gelochelidon macrotarsa)
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)
Greater Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)
Lesser Crested Tern (Thalasseus bengalensis)
Chinese Crested Tern (Thalasseus bernsteini)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Cabot’s Tern (Thalasseus acuflavidus)
Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans)
Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)
Saunders’s Tern (Sternula saundersi)
Least Tern (Sternula antillarum)
Yellow-billed Tern (Sternula superciliaris)
Peruvian Tern (Sternula lorata)
Fairy Tern (Sternula nereis)
Damara Tern (Sternula balaenarum)
Aleutian Tern (Onychoprion aleuticus)
Spectacled Tern (Onychoprion lunatus)
Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus)
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus)
River Tern (Sterna aurantia)
Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii)
White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata)
Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana)
South American Tern (Sterna hirundinacea)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
White-cheeked Tern (Sterna repressa)
Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea)
Antarctic Tern (Sterna vittata)
Kerguelen Tern (Sterna virgata)
Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri)
Snowy-crowned Tern (Sterna trudeaui)
Black-bellied Tern (Sterna acuticauda)
Black-fronted Tern (Chlidonias albostriatus)
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)
Large-billed Tern (Phaetusa simplex)
Inca Tern (Larosterna inca)

On the photos or slides, a “by” indicates one of the photographers or videographers, who have given their permission, with links on our sidebar. Please visit their site to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia.

Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:
Bob & Nan’s Gallery
Dave’s BirdingPix
DansPix – Dan
Ian Montgomery’s Birdway
Keith Blomerley – Videographer
Michael Bader’s Photo Gallery
Nick Talbot – Videographer
Nikhil Devasar’s Gallery
Ray’s Wildlife Photography
Tom Tarrant’s Aveceda
William Kwong’s Galleries

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Gull Beak and Feet

Gull Beak and Feet (from Color Key to North American Birds, by Frank M. Chapman ©1912)

Gulls (often informally called seagulls) are birds in the family Laridae. They are most closely related to the terns (family Sternidae) and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders. Until the twenty-first century most gulls were placed in the genus Larus, but this arrangement is now known to be polyphyletic, leading to the resurrection of several genera.

Gulls are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls, stout, longish bills, and webbed feet. Most gulls, particularly Larus species, are ground-nesting carnivores, which will take live food or scavenge opportunistically. Live food often includes crabs and small fish. Gulls have prophylactic unhinging jaws which allow them to consume large prey. Apart from the kittiwakes, gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing far out to sea.  The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls. Large White-Headed Gulls are typically long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the Herring Gull.

Gulls nest in large, densely packed noisy colonies. They lay two to three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation. The young are precocial, being born with dark mottled down, and mobile upon hatching.

Gulls—the larger species in particular—are resourceful, inquisitive and intelligent birds, demonstrating complex methods of communication and a highly developed social structure. For example, many gull colonies display mobbing behaviour, attacking and harassing would-be predators and other intruders. Certain species (e.g. the Herring Gull) have exhibited tool use behaviour, using pieces of bread as bait with which to catch goldfish, for example.[7] Many species of gull have learned to coexist successfully with humans and have thrived in human habitats. Others rely on kleptoparasitism to get their food. Gulls have been observed preying on live whales, landing on the whale as it surfaces to peck out pieces of flesh. (Wikipedia with editing)

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