Gulls, Terns and Skimmers

The gulls, terns, skimmers photo album comprises two galleries that feature bird portraits including some immature and subspecies that belong to the Laridae family. I photographed them in wetland and coastal habitat.


Gull Notes

Apart from the lava gull, that is ‘Red List (2019)’ assessed as ‘Vulnerable’ all the 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 species 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) was initially a separate species but now lumped with the Australian silver gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) as C. n. scopulinus.

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’.

Terns are cosmopolitan birds whose habitats include marine, coastal and pelagic. Some species, such as the white-winged tern, inhabit inland waterways. These elegant birds have long forked tails but are rather monotone as most 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.

Gulls, Terns and Skimmers Taxonomy Notes

The waterbirds webpage describes the higher-level taxonomy for the gulls, terns and skimmers families. Following J Boyd’s Taxonomy in Flux Checklist, I’ve split four of the five families placed in suborder Lari across three photo albums. In this photo album are Laridae (gulls, terns and skimmers). Dromadidae (crab plover) and Glareolidae (pratincoles) are in the Waders (Shorebirds) and Alcidae in the Penguins and Auks photo albums.