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Black-Backed Gull; Karoro; Dominican Gull (Larus dominicana)



The black-backed gull can be seen anywhere around the NZ coast and even far inland. There will often be several on the beach beside the estuary, as well as flying over or sitting on the powerpoles in Foxton Beach.

The black-backed gull is the largest gull in New Zealand and very distinctive. It has a black back and wings, with a white head and white underparts. It's the only NZ gull to have black colouring. Its yellow beak has a red spot on the lower half. The legs are olive green to yellow.


The black-backed gull is a scavenger and can be seen in large numbers around rubbish dumps, as well as following fishing boats, and it eats a wide variety of foods.

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