Common gull

For the common gull butterfly, see Cepora nerissa.
Common gull
Larus canus1
Adult mew gull. Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
Species:
L. canus
Binomial name
Larus canus
Larus canus map

The common gull (Larus canus) is a medium-sized gull that breeds in northern Asia, northern Europe, and northwestern North America. The North American subspecies is commonly referred to as the mew gull, although that name is also used by some authorities for the whole species.[2] It migrates further south in winter.[3] There are differing accounts as to how the species acquired its vernacular name (see Etymology section below).

Description

Common Gull Larus canus, Vaxholm Sweden 1
Common Gulls, Larus canus, in flight
Larus canus winter plumage
Winter plumage
Larus canus MWNH 0334
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

Adult common gulls are 40–46 cm (16–18 in) long, noticeably smaller than the herring gull and slightly smaller than the ring-billed gull. It is further distinguished from the ring-billed gull by its shorter, more tapered bill, which is a more greenish shade of yellow and is unmarked during the breeding season. The body is grey above and white below. The legs are greenish-yellow. In winter, the head is streaked grey and the bill often has a poorly defined blackish band near the tip, which is sometimes sufficiently obvious to cause confusion with ring-billed gull. They have black wingtips with large white "mirrors". Young birds have scaly black-brown upperparts and a neat wing pattern, and grey legs. They take two to three years to reach maturity. The call is a high-pitched "laughing" cry.[3][4]

Taxonomy

There are four subspecies, two of which are considered distinct species by some authorities:[3][5]

  • L. c. canusLinnaeus, 1758common gull. nominate, found in Europe and western Asia. Small; mantle medium grey (palest subspecies); wingtips with extensive black; iris dark. Wingspan 110–125 cm (43–49 in); mass 290–480 g (10–17 oz).
  • L. c. heineiHomeyer, 1853Russian common gull. Found in central northern Asia. Medium size; mantle dark grey (darkest subspecies); wingtips with extensive black; iris dark. Mass 315–550 g (11.1–19.4 oz).
  • L. c. kamtschatschensisBonaparte, 1857; syn. L. kamtschatschensisKamchatka gull. Found in northeastern Asia. Large; mantle medium-dark grey; wingtips with extensive black; iris pale. Mass 394–586 g (13.9–20.7 oz).
  • L. c. brachyrhynchusRichardson, 1831; syn. L. brachyrhynchusmew gull or short-billed gull. Found in Alaska and western Canada. Small; mantle medium-dark grey; wingtips with little black and much white; iris pale. Wingspan 96–102 cm (38–40 in); mass 320–550 g (11–19 oz).

Ecology

Both common and mew gulls breed colonially near water or in marshes, making a lined nest on the ground or in a small tree; colony size varies from 2 to 320 or even more pairs. Usually three eggs are laid (sometimes just one or two); they hatch after 24–26 days, with the chicks fledging after a further 30–35 days. Like most gulls, they are omnivores and will scavenge as well as hunt small prey. The global population is estimated to be about one million pairs; they are most numerous in Europe, with over half (possibly as much as 80-90%) of the world population.[6] By contrast, the Alaskan population is only about 10,000 pairs.[3]

Larus canus fishing sequence
Larus canus fishing sequence

Vagrancy

The common gull occurs as a scarce winter visitor to coastal eastern Canada and as a vagrant to the northeastern USA.[7] There is one recent record of a mew gull in Europe, on the Azores in 2003.[8]

Etymology

The scientific name is from Latin. Larus appears to have referred to a gull or other large seabird, and canus is "grey".[9] The name "common gull" was coined by Thomas Pennant in 1768 because he considered it the most numerous of its genus.[10] Others assert that the name does not indicate its abundance, but that during the winter it feeds on common land, short pasture used for grazing.[11] John Ray earlier used the name common sea-mall.[10] It is said that uncommon gull is a more accurate description. There are many old British regional names for this species, typically variations on maa, mar and mew.[12]

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2015). "Larus canus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2015: e.T22694308A85045850. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  2. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D., eds. (2016). "IOC World Bird List (v 6.2)". IOC World Bird List. doi:10.14344/IOC.ML.6.2.
  3. ^ a b c d del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; Sargatal, J., eds. (1998). Handbook of the Birds of the World. 3. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. p. 621. ISBN 84-87334-20-2.
  4. ^ Snow, D.W.; Perrins, C.M. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic (Concise ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
  5. ^ Olsen, K.M.; Larsson, H. (2004). Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Helm. ISBN 0-7136-7087-8.
  6. ^ Hagemeijer, W.J.M.; Blair, M.J., eds. (1997). The EBCC Atlas of European Breeding Birds. London: Poyser. ISBN 0-85661-091-7.
  7. ^ Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf. p. 483. ISBN 0-679-45122-6.
  8. ^ Alfrey, P.; Ahmad, M. (2007). "Short-billed Gull on Terceira, Azores, in February–March 2003 and identification of the 'Mew Gull complex'". Dutch Birding. 29 (4): 201–212.
  9. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 89, 219. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  10. ^ a b Lockwood, W.B. (1993). The Oxford Dictionary of British Bird Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-866196-2.
  11. ^ Okill, Dave (2004). "English names for Western Palearctic birds". British Birds. 97 (7): 348–349.
  12. ^ Jackson, Christine E. (1968). British Names of Birds. Witherby. ISBN 978-0854930043.

External links

Cepora

Cepora is a genus of butterflies, commonly called gulls, in the family Pieridae. The genus contains about 20 species shared between the Indomalayan ecozone and the Australasian ecozone.

Cepora nerissa

Cepora nerissa, the common gull, is a small to medium-sized butterfly of the family Pieridae, that is, the yellows and whites, which is native to Sri Lanka, India, China, southeast Asia, and Indonesia.

Chroicocephalus

Chroicocephalus is a genus of medium to relatively small gulls which were included in the genus Larus until recently. Some authorities also include the Saunders's gull in Chroicocephalus. The genus name Chroicocephalus is from Ancient Greek khroizo, "to colour", and kephale, "head".Representatives of this genus are found in regions/subregions all over the world, each species usually being confined to a region.

Copeland Islands

The Copeland Islands is a group of three islands in the north Irish Sea, north of Donaghadee, County Down, Northern Ireland consisting of Lighthouse, Mew and Copeland Island. They lie within the civil parish of Bangor.

Delta de la Dranse National Nature Reserve

The Delta de la Dranse National Nature Reserve is a nature reserve located in the delta of the Dranse river. The reserve is located to the east of the commune of Thonon-les-Bains in southeastern France. At 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) long by 500 metres (1,600 ft) wide, it covers a small area of 53 hectares (130 acres) at an elevation ranging from 372 to 380 metres (1,220 to 1,247 ft). Offering a rich botanic biodiversity, the site was declared a national nature reserve in January 1980 and declared a special "zone of protection" since September 1986.

The beach of the last river delta along Lake Geneva is constituted of alluvium, sand, stones, and pebbles. The sandy beaches and small islands are constantly being formed by the path of the rising torrential river, which has resulted in the expansion of a rich diversity of flora and wildlife. The reserve shelters:

Close to 750 plant species including orchids;

More than 200 species of birds, notably the red-crested pochard, the little ringed plover — the reserve is the only nesting site for the common tern in the larger Rhone basin, additionally it is the southernmost point where the common gull nests;

Numerous reptiles and amphibian species are equally represented;

European beavers are well established along the banks.

Hybridisation in gulls

Hybridisation in gulls occurs quite frequently, although to varying degrees depending on the species involved.

Ichthyaetus

Ichthyaetus is a genus of gulls. The genus name is from Ancient Greek ikhthus, "fish", and aetos, "eagle". They were previously included in the genus Larus.

Ishikari, Hokkaido

Ishikari (石狩市, Ishikari-shi, Ainu: Iskarun) is a city located in Ishikari Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan.

As of April 30, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 58,755, with 27,434 households, and a density of 81 persons per km2. The total area is 721.86 km2 (279 sq mi).

On October 1, 2005, the village of Atsuta, from Atsuta District, and the village of Hamamasu, from Hamamasu District, merged into Ishikari.

Larus

Larus is a large genus of gulls with worldwide distribution (by far the greatest species diversity is in the Northern Hemisphere). The genus name is from Ancient Greek laros (λάῥος) or Latin Larus which appears to have referred to a gull or other large seabird.Many of its species are abundant and well-known birds in their ranges. Until about 2005–2007, most gulls were placed in this genus, but this arrangement is now known to be polyphyletic, leading to the resurrection of the genera Ichthyaetus, Chroicocephalus, Leucophaeus, and Hydrocoloeus (this last had been recognized more often than the other genera) for several species traditionally included in Larus.

They are in general medium to large birds, typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet.

The taxonomy of the large gulls in the herring and lesser black-backed complex is very complicated, different authorities recognising between two and eight species.

Leucophaeus

Leucophaeus is a small genus of medium-sized New World gulls, most of which are dark in plumage, usually with white crescents above and below the eyes. They were placed in the genus Larus until recently. The genus name Leucophaeus is from Ancient Greek leukos, "white", and phaios, "dusky".

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Nerissa

Nerissa may refer to:

Nerissa (given name), a feminine given name

Nerissa, a character in Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice

Mira (wasp), a wasp genus in the subfamily Encyrtinae

Cepora nerissa, the common gull, a butterfly in the family Pieridae

HMS Nerissa (disambiguation)

SS Nerissa, a passenger and cargo steamer which was torpedoed and sunk on 30 April 1941

Nerissa, a villain character in the comic book series W.I.T.C.H and the television adaptation of the same name

Pacific gull

The Pacific gull (Larus pacificus) is a very large gull, native to the coasts of Australia. It is moderately common between Carnarvon in the west, and Sydney in the east, although it has become scarce in some parts of the south-east, as a result of competition from the kelp gull, which has "self-introduced" since the 1940s.

Much larger than the ubiquitous silver gull, and nowhere near as common, Pacific gulls are usually seen alone or in pairs, loafing around the shoreline, steadily patrolling high above the edge of the water, or (sometimes) zooming high on the breeze to drop a shellfish or sea urchin onto rocks.

Piiukaarelaid

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Portknockie

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The village's name is written as Portknockies in the Old Parish Registers. This would suggest that the port's name referred to not one, but two rocky hills at the hythe - the Port Hill and the Greencastle. Nearby towns include Buckie, Findochty and Cullen.

The village was founded in 1677 and it became a significant herring fishing port during the nineteenth century, although today only a handful of commercial inshore boats remain.

The town was on the railway network, until Portknockie station closed in 1968.

A popular site in Portknockie is Bow Fiddle Rock, a large rock about 50 feet high just off the coast. The quartzite structure has a large sea arch, which somewhat resembles the bow of a fiddle, making it an example of a natural arch.

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Ring-billed gull

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Uuemaarahu lies 1 kilometer to the southeast of the island of Hellamaa in the Väinameri Strait. It belongs to the administrative municipality of Pühalepa Parish, Hiiu County (Estonian: Hiiu maakond) and is part of the Hiiumaa Islet Landscape Reserve. Other islands nearby include Uuemererahu, Kadakalaid, Ramsi, Hõralaid and Vohilaid.

The islet is an important moulting area for an abundant variety of birds such as: the mute swan, the great black-backed gull, the common gull, the oystercatcher, the Arctic tern, the common eider, the greylag goose, the common goldeneye, the mallard, the goosander, the ruff, the black-tailed godwit, and the barnacle goose.

Wildlife of Tamil Nadu

There are more than 2000 species of fauna that can be found in Tamil Nadu. This rich wildlife is attributed to the diverse relief features as well as favorable climate and vegetation in the Indian state. Recognizing the state's role in preserving the current environment, the government has established several wildlife and bird sanctuaries as well as national parks, which entail stringent protective measures. Tamil Nadu is also included in the International Network of Biosphere Reserves, which facilitates international recognition and additional funding. Currently, there are five national parks and 17 sanctuaries that serve as homes to the wildlife.

Gulls (family: Laridae)
Genus
Larus
Ichthyaetus
Leucophaeus
Chroicocephalus
Saundersilarus
Hydrocoloeus
Rhodostethia
Rissa
Pagophila
Xema
Creagrus

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