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Great black-backed gull (Larus marinus)

Great black-backed gull

Great black-backed gull

Description: With a wingspan of up to 1.70 m and a weight of 2.1 kg, the Great black-backed gull is amongst the largest gulls in Svalbard, it is actually even slightly larger than the Glaucous gull, even though it is much less common. With its dark upper wings, the Great black-backed gull is easy to distinguish from the Glaucous gull with has silver-grey upper wings. The sexes look the same.

Distribution/migrations: The Great black-backed gull is at home rather in sub-arctic areas than in the high arctic, breeding on coastal rock cliffs in northwestern Europe. It is common in Iceland and northern Scandinavia. In Svalbard, it is breeding in small number, mostly on Bjørnøya (Bear Island).

Biology: The Great black-backed gull is an opportunistic predatory bird just as the Glaucous gull and it will eat anything it can get: fish, mussels, zooplankton, eggs, chicks and small birds, mainly from Kittiwakes, Brünich’s guillemots and Little auks, but also adults of these species. Parts that can not be digested will be thrown up again.

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last modification: 2014-10-27 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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