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, see Taxonomy note below. I photographed them in wetland and coastal habitat.


Gull Notes

All the species shown in the gallery are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’ except for the Lava Gull, which is ‘Vulnerable’.

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.

Terns, Noddies and Skimmers

Terns, Noddies and Skimmers 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

The Waterbirds Photo Album webpage describes the higher-level taxonomy for the gulls, terns, and skimmers families. Four of the five families placed in suborder Lari feature across three photo albums. In this photo album are Laridae (Gulls, Terns and Skimmers). Dromadidae (Crab Plover) and Glareolidae (Pratincoles) in the Waders (Shorebirds) and Alcidae in the Penguins and Auks photo albums, part of Seabirds Photo Album collections.

The New Zealand Red-billed Gull (Larus scopulinus) originally a separate species but now lumped with the Australian Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) as C. n. scopulinus. IOC World Bird Names, J Boyd Taxonomy in Flux and Clements refer.