There is a vast number of amazing species of birds that have unique features and specifications. These include the famous Seagull is one of the most famous sea birds from the same family and the Charadriiformes.
The ancient ancestors of the gulls are considered waders, Skuas, terns and skimmers. Currently, the watchers allocate more than 60 species of rare form properties and characteristic appearance.
A significant part of them consists of birds of medium size. The largest species includes the sea gull weighing two kilograms and a body length up to 80 cm. In turn, the tiny representative called little gull weighs only 100 grams and the size is not more of a dove.
Looks like Chaika
Almost all types of teas have a similar appearance. The plumage of these lovely birds is smooth and dense, with wings and a tail of medium length. For this reason, the gulls are excellent fliers, able to travel great distances over water without a lot of fatigue. In addition, birds do difficult tricks and maneuvers during flight. The presence of thin, evenly pointed beak allows you to catch any prey, even if it is very slippery or sticky. Some individuals have massive beak with a sharp tip on the end, which also makes them unmatched getters.
All species have webbed feet that enable the bird to swim freely in the water. While duck clumsiness, slowness and unbalanced coordination, as is the case with other wild aquatic birds are absent. The Seagull quickly runs on land and swims in water.
The color of the plumage varies from white to black, while the ratio of one of the two different shades. The most common coloration has light body, black wings and a dark head. In rare cases you may come across a plain Cup of tea.
Such individuals include representatives of the following types:
- white gull;
Very rare is the pink Seagull, which has unusual pale pink plumage, able to transform any photo into a miracle. The color of beak and legs usually black, red or yellow. Anatomical differences between males and females is negligible, but the seasonal characteristics are expressed very clearly. For example, in the spring molt begins at gull, winter plumage without bright colors become more beautiful. The young differs from the adults the characteristic brownish-speckled plumage.
Area. Where winter gulls
Gulls are found almost everywhere. There is no such continent or ocean where these birds are neither caught on. However, some species prefer exclusively to the tropical regions, some moderate belt and there are polar types. In any case, the main condition when choosing a habitat is the presence of the reservoir.
But here there are nuances:
- some seagulls love the ocean and the endless coast of the large and deep seas;
- others are found on rivers and lakes;
- still others live in desert oases;
Species that are found near the marine shoreline, as a rule, lead a sedentary life and living on the mainland inland lakes and rivers often make seasonal migrations.
Like other swimming birds, the gulls prefer the gregarious way of life. They form obligate or facultative colony. If we are talking about the first type, a single colony can live for more than a few thousand individuals that Lodge at a small distance from each other. Optional colonies consist of one or a few dozen gulls and nests installed at a distance of several meters from each other. For this reason, the gulls differ pronounced signal system.
Each type has many different sounds are used as warning of impending danger by the appearance of the food, ready to mate and so on. Screams of a species is very loud and piercing. They can be heard from a distance of several hundred meters.
Individuals living on the mainland inland reservoirs with moderate climatic conditions, is sent to winter in warmer marine regions.
They eat seagulls
Many people associate with Chaika peace and beauty, imagining a romantic image of soaring over the sea waves birds. But in reality, this relaxed behavior is found only in the abundance of prey. Otherwise, pretty bird turns into a cocky, greedy and aggressive hunter that will join the battle for a tidbit of food without much thought. Birds manage to pick up someone else’s food and even to attack small Chicks. If the front of the pack there is a danger that participants quickly gather together to repel the predator, whatever it is foxes, crows or people.
The main part of the diet of gulls is:
- Small squid;
- Remains of prey of large pelagic predators;
- Small fish;
When you search for food poultry a long time circling above the water, fly long distances from the shore and tracking down odd behavior in the upper layers of water. Gulls are often found near whales, dolphins and other predatory fish as they chase shoals of small fish and feathered open a great field to search for readily available prey, which rises to the surface, hoping for salvation. However, there is waiting for hungry seagulls.
Birds are able to partially submerged, but to make a deep dive they do not know. However, birds do not abandon coastal hunting. Very often in the seaside location they are looking for the remains of the corpses of seals and sea lions, crabs, sea stars, molluscs and other aquatic fauna. Do not disdain the seagulls hunting for eggs and nestlings of other birds.
Steppe and polar types prefer:
- mice and voles;
- berries and some plants;
Today the forage base of many species of gulls has greatly expanded due to the close proximity with traces of human activity. Seagulls EN masse moved to the neighborhood beaches, harbours and city dumps. They learned to eat the food waste and other food
The reproduction of birds
In all species the breeding season occurs once a year. The birds stand out for their excellent loyalty to one partner, with whom they spend their entire lives. But in the case of the death of the female, male looking for new. During the mating ritual and the birds perform complicated movements, where each successive nods of the head, plowing the feathers on the belly, mewing cries, etc.
In addition, before mating, the male picks up small fish and brings it to his sweetheart on the beak. This cements their Union.
The breeding season depending on the habitat, begins in April-June. Gulls nest either on the sand or in the grass or on narrow ledges. Arctic gulls lined nest of grass, dried seaweed and reeds, which may seem meager bedding. Representatives of marine species cost fragments of shells, with chips.
One female lays 1-3 mottled eggs, which she incubates for 20 to 30 days. All this time, nurturing the male carries food to her.
The Chicks hatch at intervals of 1-2 days. Thus unlike other bird species, young gulls are born sighted and well developed. Their body is covered with down, but the ability to move independently is not yet available. In the nest the Chicks can’t stay more than 2-6 days, after which they start to move around the colony, getting acquainted with other individuals. If forage is poor, the adult gulls give the last piece to the older chick, which dies younger.
Upon detection of hazards, the cubs are much bated, and thick fuzz is excellent camouflage against the background of sand and small pebbles. The sexual maturity comes at the age of 1-3 years, while the average length is 15-20 years old. Representatives of the herring gulls can live even longer. By the way, the oldest bird from the family of gulls was silver individual that has reached the age of 49 years.
What are the dangers to birds?
Despite the frisky behavior, the ability to fly and a great alert system for approaching predators, gulls are exposed to many dangers, including large predatory birds and land animals.
Among the most important enemies of the gulls:
For centuries gulls can live in peace with each other and did not represent a threat to the ecosystem. But noticeable decline in fish resources at the global level, which is seen for the last several decades, led to what many considered a harmful bird. Someone says that the activity of the gulls has a negative impact on fish stocks, which they are beginning to mass murder.
But actually the situation is a little different. People who are consumer lifestyle and wish to take from nature all that is possible to imagine corny destroy birds because of greed and the desire to enrich themselves by any means.
In fact, gulls are of great benefit to the coast, because they eat the dregs of animal origin and food debris, showing a better nurses. It is important to note that some species of seagulls are on the verge of extinction and in need of strengthened security measures.
Among them, the following:
If you do not take drastic measures and do not relate to the protection of these species responsibly in a few years they are commonplace will disappear from the face of the earth. Many species of gulls continue to be widespread in different regions of the world, but human activities, environmental changes and other factors greatly affect their numbers. Every year she quietly declining. Therefore, to protect birds from electrocution, it is better not to disturb their natural life cycle.