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Black-billed Gull - BirdForum Opus

Photo by janha
Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand, October 2004
Chroicocephalus bulleri

Larus bulleri



  • Grey and white plumage
  • Black bill and legs
  • Black wing tips

Juvenile: paler legs and bill, dark eyes and small white mirrors on the wings.

Similar Species

Red-billed Gull

Photo by mjobling
Queenstown, New Zealand, March 2007


New Zealand, breeding in South Island, wintering in North Island.


This is a monotypic species[1] which is sometimes placed in genus Larus.


Usually seen inland at rivers, freshwater lakes and marshes, sandy shores, pastures and in towns.


Classified as Endangered in the 2008 IUCN Red List.2



The diet includes fish and aquatic invertebrates, insects, beetles and worms.

Photo by Peter Ericsson
Christchurch, New Zealand, October 2006


The birds are faithful to their breeding site returning each year. Both adults construct the nest, which is a deep depression lined with twigs and grass, during October. The clutch consists of 1-3 eggs which are incubated by both adults for around 22 days. The chicks are tended by both adults until fledging at 26 days.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. BirdLife International (2008) Species factsheet: Larus bulleri. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/9/2008.
  3. Wikipedia
  4. ArKive
  5. BF Member observations

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