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Gull,C*Great Bird Mentioned in Poems and Legends.

Nov 02, 2010

Damascus, (SANA) _The gull is a grey or white bird with black markings on the head or wings which usually lives near the seas and oceans, and sometimes near the internal water.Gulls (often informally called seagulls) are birds in the family Laridae.

They are most closely related to the terns (family Sternidae) and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders.Gull species range in size from the Little Gull, at 120 g and 29 cm (11.5 inches), to the Great Black-backed Gull, at 1.75 kg and 76 cm (30 inches).

The color of the gull's feather changes with the change of seasons and according to the age of the bird.The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls.

Large White-Headed Gulls are typically long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the Herring Gull.

There are different species of the seagull such as:The Larus is a large genus of gulls with worldwide distribution (although by far the greatest species diversity is in the Northern Hemisphere).

Many of its species are abundant and well-known birds in their ranges.They are in general medium to large birds, typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings.

They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet.The Larus species are ground nesting carnivores often eat crabs and small fish.

Apart from the kittiwakes, gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing far out to the sea.The Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) also known simply as "seagull" in Australia, is the most common gull seen in the Mediterranean cities.

It has been found throughout the continent, but particularly coastal areas.

As is the case with many gulls, it has traditionally been placed in the genus Larus but is now placed in the genus Chroicocephalus.

The head, body and tail are white.

The wings are light grey with white spotted, black tips.

Adults range from 40--45 cm in length.

Juveniles have brown patterns on their wings, and a dark beak.

Adults have bright red beaks--the brighter the red, the older the bird.

The silver gull naturally feeds on worms, fish, insects and crustaceans.

It is a successful scavenger, allowing increased numbers near human settlements.

Breeding occurs from August to December.

The nest is located on the ground and consists of seaweed, roots and plant stems.

The nests may be found in low shrubs, rocks and jetties.

Typical clutch size is 1--3 eggs.The Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) is a very large gull which breeds on the European and North American coasts and islands of the North Atlantic.

It is fairly sedentary, but some Great Black-backed Gulls move farther south or inland to large lakes or reservoirs.The Great Black-backed Gull was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th-century work, Systema Naturae, and it still bears its original name of Larus marinus.

This is the largest gull, bigger than a Herring Gull.

It is 71--79 cm long with a 1.5--1.7 m wingspan and a body weight of 1.3--2 kg, though large males regularly exceed this weight.

It is bulky, and has a powerful bill.

The adults have black wings and back, with conspicuous white "mirrors" at the wing tips.

The legs are pinkish, and the bill yellow with a red spot.

Young birds have scaly black-brown upperparts, and a neat wing pattern.

They take at least four years to reach maturity, development in this species being somewhat slower than that of other large gulls.

The call is a deep "laughing" cry.The Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea) is a small gull, the only species in its genus.

It breeds in the high arctic and has a circumpolar distribution through Greenland, northernmost North America, and Eurasia.

It migrates only short distances to the south in autumn, most of the population wintering in northern latitudes at the edge of the pack ice, although some birds reach more temperate areas.

This bird has a more pigeon-like shape than the Larus gulls, but the adult has completely white plumage, lacking the grey back of other gulls.

The thick bill is blue with a yellow tip, and the legs are black.

Young birds have a dusky face and variable amounts of black flecking in the wings and tail.

The juveniles take two years to attain full adult plumage.

R.

al-Jazaeri/R.Milhem/ Mazen

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Publication:Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Nov 2, 2010
Words:764
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