KEY SPECIES

Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

DOL­PHIN GULL When seen at close quar­ters, this gull re­ally is a beau­ti­ful species to be­hold. Its dark man­tle with white trail­ing edge to the wings is aug­mented by an ex­quis­ite grey wash over its head, neck and breast. To com­plete the look, it has a white iris off­set by a vivid red eye ring and match­ing legs and beak. It has a dark hood in its ju­ve­nile plumage, which is unique in lar­ids. In­deed, it can be eas­ily mis­taken for an­other gull species. It is a fairly com­mon res­i­dent of coastal Chile, Ar­gentina and the Falk­land Is­lands, favour­ing rocky, muddy and sandy shores. Like most gulls it is an om­ni­vore and, cer­tainly in Ushuaia, is not ad­verse to tak­ing and eat­ing any­thing they can get from the tran­sit­ing tourists. They have a strange un-gull-like call, ren­dered as ‘kek-kek-kek ’, and other high pitched ut­ter­ances. On­go­ing re­search has re­vealed that the Dol­phin Gull has rel­a­tively small eyes com­pared to all other gulls. The rea­son for this adap­ta­tion is un­clear. This species was named in hon­our of English ex­plorer, Wil­liam Scoresby and in days gone by it was ac­tu­ally called, Scoresby’s Gull.

Davidlindo

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