Information

Wildlife in Italy: Common seagull

Wildlife in Italy: Common seagull

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: gulls
Kind: Larus
Species: L. ridibundus
Synonymous: Chroicocephalus ridibundus

It is possible to find it from Iceland to almost all of Europe and Central Asia. Habitat: lakes, ponds, vast reeds, swamps, coastal ponds, urban centers. Northern populations are migratory. The birds that live in the lower latitudes instead tend to be sedentary. Most individuals in the northern Palearctic area reside in the wetlands of central and northern Europe, but migrate to the Mediterranean basin during the winter. The birds that nest in Scandinavia migrate to Britain, although most of them fly further south to reach the Atlantic coast of West Africa.

Common Gull - Larus ridibundus (photo www.darrensfreewallpapers.com)

Common Gull - Larus ridibundus (photo www.avibirds.com)

Common Gull - Larus ridibundus (photo www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk)

Distinctive characters

Average weight: 200-400 gr
Length: 34-37 cm
Wingspan: 100-110 cm

The male and female have an identical livery with predominantly white, gray and black coloring. In a wedding dress the head is covered with a dark brown hood and around the eye there is a white ring. Outside the reproductive period the brown cap disappears; only a speck remains behind the eye and a little visible shade on the head. The beak and legs are dark red, the wings and the gray back with white and black wingtips with a typical design. Juveniles have a mottled brown color and gradually take on the livery of adults in about 2 years. Other information

Biology

Although it is a marine species, it has taken the habit of frequenting cultivated and urban areas. It feeds by swimming and collecting food from the surface of the water, or by dipping the head below the surface. Adults show greater ability to find food than young people, and for this reason young people are less suspicious of men because they can receive food from them. When food resources are scarce, the common seagull steals prey that has been caught by an individual of the same or different species.
It nests in large colonies that occupy large areas. The distance between one nest and another is 5 meters, and it can be lowered up to 1 meter in the most crowded colonies (with more than 1000 pairs). The nest is 50 centimeters wide, and is placed on the ground or among the low vegetation of the wetlands. The female lays on average 3 eggs per brood and the incubation lasts from 22 to 26 days. There is usually only one brood, which occurs between late April and early May, but sometimes there may be a replacement brood that takes place in early July. Once the couple has settled in a colony, it becomes very territorial and defends its nesting area from intruders, even of the same species. They mark their territory clearly delimiting an area ranging from 9 to 12 square meters. The boundaries of this area are subject to constant changes following disputes with neighboring couples.


Video: The wonderful Wildlife of Sardinia (October 2021).