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Larus dominicanus

Kelp Gull

  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Laridae

Authors: Contreras-González, A.M., C. Rodríguez-Flores, C. Soberanes-González & M.C. Arizmendi

Identification

Summary

52 - 58 cm. 1,035 g. 1st winter individuals (any month): Iris black. Bill black. Head, nape and neck white, mottled and striped indistinctly with gray. More white on forehead. Throat white. Chest and underparts white, mottled and striped indistinctly brown. Back and feathers that cover upper-wings gray spotted with black, brown and white. Rump white stripped dark. Under-wings black, flight feathers more grayish. Tail feathers black. Legs pale pinkish. 2nd to 4th winter individuals (any month): Iris black. Bill black, yellow on base. Head, nape, neck, throat and underparts white, with small gray areas around the eyes and nape. Back black-gray. Feathers that cover upper-wings dark gray and brown. Legs pinkish. Non-reproductive adults (any month): Iris yellow. Bill yellow spotted red, robust and bulbous at tip. Head, nape, neck, underparts and feathers that cover under-wings white, unmarked. Back and feathers that cover upper-wings black indistinct. Flight feathers on upper-wings, tipped white, except a few inner feathers that are black overall. Legs greenish-gray to yellowish. Reproductive adults (any month): Similar to non-reproductive. Iris pale yellow. Ring around the eye red. Commissures of bill bright yellow. Males and females are similar. Juveniles have the bill and eyes dark; body feathers brown with whitish margins, paler on throat; legs pale pinkish.

Similar Species

Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) is similar to Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus), but in last species the bill is more robust, and adults are less blackish on back. Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) is smaller, with narrow wings.

Vocalizations

The call or song is very sharp, and consist of two to three syllables, separated and repeated kwee-ah.

Nonvocal Sounds

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Detailed Description (appearance)

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Bare Parts

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Measurements

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Molts

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Geographic Variation

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Systematics

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Recommended Citation

Contreras-González, A.M., C. Rodríguez-Flores, C. Soberanes-González & M.C. Arizmendi. 2010. Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=162101