silver gull
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The silver gull (''Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae'') is the most common
gull Gulls, or colloquially seagulls, are seabirds of the family Laridae in the suborder Lari. They are most closely related to the terns (family Sternidae) and only distantly related to auks, Skimmer (bird), skimmers and even more distantly to wade ...

gull
of
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
. It has been found throughout the continent, but particularly at or near coastal areas. It is smaller than the
Pacific gull The Pacific gull (''Larus pacificus'') is a very large gull Gulls, or colloquially seagulls, are seabirds of the family Laridae in the suborder Lari. They are most closely related to the terns (family Sternidae) and only distantly related to ...

Pacific gull
(''Larus pacificus''), which also lives in Australia. The silver gull should not be confused with the
herring gull Herring gull is a common name for several birds in the genus ''Larus ''Larus'' is a large genus of gulls with worldwide distribution (by far the greatest species diversity is in the Northern Hemisphere). Many of its species are abundant and w ...

herring gull
, which is called "silver gull" in many other languages (
scientific name In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only ...
''Larus argentatus'',
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...

German
''Silbermöwe'',
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of co ...

French
''Goéland argenté'',
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
''zilvermeeuw''), but is a much larger, robust gull with no overlap in range.


Taxonomy

It has traditionally been placed in the
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
''
Larus ''Larus'' is a large genus of gulls with worldwide distribution (by far the greatest species diversity is in the Northern Hemisphere). Many of its species are abundant and well-known birds in their ranges. Until about 2005–2007, most gulls ...

Larus
'', as is the case with many gulls, but is now placed in the genus ''
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 An ...
''.
Hartlaub's gull Hartlaub's gull (''Chroicocephalus hartlaubii''), also known as the king gull, is a small gull, which is a bird migration, non-migratory breeding resident endemic to the Atlantic Ocean coastline of South Africa and Namibia. Although it is predomin ...
(''C. hartlaubii'') of
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
was formerly sometimes considered to be
subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
of the silver gull. There are three subspecies: * ''C. n. forsteri'' ( Mathews, 1912) – north and northeast Australia, New Caledonia,
Loyalty Islands The Loyalty Islands Province (French ''Province des îles Loyauté'') is one of three administrative subdivisions Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, firs ...
* ''C. n. novaehollandiae'' ( Stephens, 1826) – southern Australia and Tasmania * ''C. n. scopulinus'' (Forster, JR, 1844) or
red-billed gull The red-billed gull (''Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae scopulinus''), also known as tarāpunga and once also known as the mackerel gull, is a native of New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by En ...
– New Zealand


Description

The head, body, and tail are white. The wings are light grey with white-spotted, black tips. Adults range from 40–45 cm (15-17 Inches) in length. Mean wingspan is 94 cm (37 Inches) . Juveniles have brown patterns on their wings, and a dark beak. Adults have bright red beaks—the brighter the red, the older the bird.


Distribution and habitat

Silver gulls are found in all states of Australia, as well as
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
and
New Caledonia ) , anthem = "Soyons unis, devenons frères" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , s ...

New Caledonia
. It is a common species, having adapted well to urban environments and thriving around shopping centres and garbage dumps. Their successful adaption to urban habitats have seen their population increase in areas of human activity, with the availability of nesting grounds the only limiting factor on population growth. Silver gulls have twice been recorded in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
; one bird was shot in August 1947 at the mouth of the
Genesee River The Genesee River is a tributary A tributary, or affluent, is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem riv ...
,
Lake Ontario Lake Ontario (french: Lac Ontario) is one of the five Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region ...

Lake Ontario
, and another was photographed in
Salem County, New Jersey Salem County is a County (United States), county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Its western boundary is formed by the Delaware River and it has the eastern terminus of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, connecting to New Castle, Delaware. ...
, in autumn 1996. Both are believed to have escaped from captivity.*
American Ornithologists' Union The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is an ornithological Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the "methodological study and consequent knowledge of birds with all that relates to them." Several aspects of ornithology differ ...
(2000): Forty-second supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. ''
Auk An auk or alcid is a bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), bi ...
'' 117(3): 847–858.
DOI #REDIRECT DOI DOI or Doi may refer to: Science and technology * Digital object identifier, an international standard for document identification * Distinctness of image, a quantification of vision used in optics * 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine, a ...
: 10.1642/0004-8038(2000)117 847:FSSTTA.0.CO;2.


Behaviour

The silver gull has a sharp voice consisting of a variety of calls. The most common call is a harsh, high pitched 'kwarwh'.


Feeding

The silver gull naturally feeds on worms, fish, insects and crustaceans. It is a successful scavenger, allowing increased numbers near human settlements.


Breeding

Breeding occurs from August to December, typically in large colonies on offshore islands. The nest is located on the ground and consists of seaweed, roots, and plant stems. The nests may be found in low shrubs, rocks and jetties. Typical clutch size is one to three eggs. Often two broods are raised in a year, and both adults share nest-building, incubation and feeding.


Various views and plumages

File:Seagull at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.jpg, Seagull at
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a national park on the northern side of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. The park is north of the Sydney central business district and generally comprises the land east of the Highway 1 (New South Wales) ...

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
, Sydney File:Silver Gull in flight.jpg, Immature in flight File:Silver gull at Sydney.jpg, At Circular Quay railway station, Sydney File:Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae - Silver Gull - Bathing.jpg, Bathing File:Silver Gull flight.ogv, In flight, near Gold Coast, Australia File:Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae - Green Island.jpg, Mature adult on the pier of Green Island east of Cairns File:Silver Gull JCB.jpg, On Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia


References


Further reading

*Harrison, Peter (1988): ''Seabirds'' (2nd ed.). Helm Identification Guides, Christopher Helm, London. * Pons J.M., Hassanin, A., and Crochet P.A.(2005). ''Phylogenetic relationships within the Laridae (Charadriiformes: Aves) inferred from mitochondrial markers.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37(3):686-699 {{DEFAULTSORT:gull, sillver Chroicocephalus, silver gull Birds of Australia Birds of New Zealand Birds of New Caledonia Birds described in 1826, silver gull Articles containing video clips Taxa named by James Francis Stephens Taxobox binomials not recognized by IUCN