T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Gull (Blackbacked) Larus dominicanus dominicanus

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genera: Larus
Species: L. dominicanus
Sub Species:
L. dominicanus ssp. dominicanus
Scientific name:  Larus dominicanus dominicanus
Common Names: Southern black-backed gull, Dominican gull, kelp gull, laughing gull, Karoro

Larus dominicanus dominicanus is a native seabird of New Zealand. It is New Zealand's largest gull.
Languid shallow wingbeats interspersed with long glides separate it from distant skuas and mollymawks.
Juvenile dull brown, pale feather edges give a mottled appearance, especially on head, neck and underparts; bill and eye dark brown; legs pinkish brown.
In flight, looks dark brown with a paler rump. During the 2nd year the head, neck and underparts are white, mottled and flecked brown; back and upper wings scruffy brown and black; bill dull yellowish or greenish, darker at tip; legs pinkish brown to greyish green. In flight, rump white, mottled brown, tail usually barred brown and white, wings darker towards tips. On the 3rd year, the head and underparts are white; neck lightly flecked brown; back and upper wings brown and black, the extent of black depending on the stage of moult; rump and tail white, with a black band across the tip.
Bill dull yellow, darker at tip; legs yellowish green. An adult's head, neck, underparts, rump and tail are white, back and upper wings black with a narrow white trailing edge; the bill is yellow with a red spot at the tip of lower bill; the eye is a pale yellow; the legs greenish yellow.
Habitat: This species breeds circumpolar subantarctic; in NZ region, on coast of the mainland, offshore and outlying islands, except only stragglers to Kermadecs and The Snares; also breeds far inland on riverbeds, near lakes and alpine tarns. They range widely feeding at rubbish tips, farmland, ploughed fields, beaches, harbours and behind boats, but rarely ventures far out to sea. Breeding: Oct-Feb.

This information is from http://www.whatbird.co.nz

Call of the Blackback gull     

Blackback gulls at the Waiwhakaiho river mouth, Taranaki.

 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/