Thursday

Oology Cards set #5

I entered more Heermann's Gulls along with three other gulls. I'll start with what I think of as the prettiest of the group, the Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii). They are found along the upper eastern coast of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan and Turkey. Due to their large range the IUCN lists them as Least Concern. Like many other gulls they are scavengers often eating the offal fisherman remove from their catches; they also eat the eggs and chicks of terns. The main threats to these birds come from egg collection and oil drilling, prospecting and spills.
The next two gulls look very similar. The Band-tailed Gull (Larus belcheri) is found long the western coast of South America. They find food in the intertidal zone in tide pools as well as eating the eggs and chicks of other gull species. They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.
The Black-tailed Gull (Larus cassirostris) is found in eastern Asia in Taiwan, Japan, China and Korea. They feed on crustaceans, fish, molluscs and the scraps from fishing boats. In Japan there is a Shinto shrine erected for the Black-tailed Gull which is seen as a messenger for the goddess of the fishery. Due to this religious significance the gulls have experienced little strain on their numbers and are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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