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Karoro/Southern Black-backed Gull Larus dominicana

Native. Not threatened.


Black-backed Gulls can be seen anywhere around the Aotearoa New Zealand coast and even far inland. There will often be several on the beach beside the estuary, as well as flying over or sitting on various man-made structures around Foxton Beach.

This is the largest gull in Aotearoa 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. During winter flocks of 50 or more can sometimes be seen.

nzbirdsonline-southern black-backed gull

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