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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

Larus dominicanus

Corral, Chile; 13 January 2010 © Thomas B. Johnson

Kelp Gull is the dominant large gull species of South America.  It is common throughout the southern part of the continent and extending north along the coasts to Ecuador in the west and Brazil in the east, though it is also known as a vagrant and occasional breeder north to the United States as well.  Large, with very dark black upperparts and pale yellow-green legs, this gull is easily distinguished from other gulls in its range.  Kelp Gulls feed on a variety of land and marine animals and also attend refuse dumps.

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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:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

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  • Primary Habitat:Coastal waters
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  • IUCN Status:Least Concern