Types of Seagulls

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Types of Seagulls
Most seagulls are omnivorous. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Seagulls are a group of medium to large birds that belong to the family Laridae. They often have a white or grey colouring with black markings on the head or wings. Many species of seagulls exist, and the type of species determines the size and characteristics of the seagull.

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Larus is a genus of seagulls with great species diversity and worldwide distribution. Most of the seagulls in this genus have webbed feet and stout long bills. Some of the species in this genus include the pacific gull, which are native to the coasts of Australia. These seagulls are usually alone or in pairs foraging for food high above the edge of the water or zooming above the edge of the shore to drop sea urchin or shellfish on the rocks. Other species of seagulls in the Larus Genus include the ring-billed gull, yellow-footed gull, Iceland gull, kelp gull and California gull.


The Ichthyaetus genus includes gulls such as the Mediterranean gull, relic gull, great black-headed gull and sooty gull. Another species under this genus is the white-eyed gull, a small gull that is common in the Red Sea. Adult white-eyed gulls have a black hood that goes down onto the upper part of their throats. Juvenile white-eyed gulls have a different colouring as their plumage has a chocolate brown colour on the breast, neck and head. The Mediterranean gull is native to Europe, especially the Black Sea area and central Turkey.


Leucophaeus is a genus of medium-sized seagulls, the majority of which have dark plumage and white crescents above and below the eye. The seagulls in this genus include the lava gull, dolphin gull, laughing gull, grey gull and Franklin's gull. The laughing gull is a medium-sized gull that is native to North and South America. The name of this species of gulls is due to the gulls' call, which sounds like a high-pitched laugh. These gulls breed in ponds and coastal marshes in large colonies. They construct a large nest from grasses where they lay three or four greenish eggs, which they incubate for about three weeks.


Chroicocephalus is a genus of smallish gulls that include species such as the red-billed gull, grey-headed gull, brown-hooded gull and the silver gull. The silver gull is one of the most common gulls in Australia and is normally more abundant in coastal areas. They have adapted to urban environments, and can be seen around shopping centres and garbage dumps.

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