Gulls, Terns and Skimmers

Gulls, Terns and Skimmers Photographed in Wetland and Coastal Habitat

The gulls, terns, skimmers photo album comprises two galleries that feature bird portraits including some immature and subspecies. All featured birds belong to the Laridae family, placed in Order Charadriiformes (Suborder Lari).


Gull Notes

Apart from the lava gull, that is ‘Red List (2019)’ assessed as ‘Vulnerable’, all other featured species are ‘Least Concern’. These cosmopolitan bird species generally have a wide distribution so I’m able to photograph them is at most coastal regions I visit. They are for the most part phenomenally successful with some specie populations having over a million pairs. The smallest species population is the Galapagos endemic lava gull, with around 300-400 pairs. I photographed an adult and a first-year plumage bird at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. The New Zealand red-billed gull (Larus scopulinus)1 was originally a separate species but has now been lumped with the Australian silver gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) as C. n. scopulinus. My European species images are digitally scanned slide film photographed over twenty-fives tears ago.

Terns, Noddies and Skimmers

Skimmers, Noddies and Terns Notes

Apart from the white-fronted tern, that is ‘Red List (2019)’ assessed as ‘Near Threatened, all other featured species are ‘Least Concern’.

Under the modern approach to taxonomy Gulls, Terns and Skimmers (Laridae) now contain species from the former Terns (Sternidae) and Skimmers (Rynchopidae) families along with species from the Noddies (Anoinae) and White Terns (Gyginae) families.

Terns are cosmopolitan birds whose habitats include marine, coastal and pelagic. Some species, such as the white-winged tern (see gallery image above), inhabit inland waterways. These elegant birds have long forked tail but are rather monotone as most being are grey above, white below and have black crowns.

There are just five genera in the Noddy family. The brown noddy is pantropical with five subspecies. The displayed image is an endemic subspecies in the Galapagos.

Skimmers are mostly pantropical birds found mainly inland in habitats that include large rivers and bodies of water. They have a unique bill with a longer upper mandible.