Return of Bird of the Week: Dolphin Gull

Wickersham's Conscience

(This week’s Bird of the Week is late; WC was off the internet for a while.) Another species from southern Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, the Dolphin Gull is a smaller member of the Larids, the gull family.

Dolphin Gull, Ushaia Harbor, Tierra del Fuego Dolphin Gull, Ushaia Harbor, Tierra del Fuego

With its bright orange-red bill and legs, and yellow eye, it is possibly the easiest gull there is to identify in the field.

Dolphin Gull in flight, New Island, Falkland Islands Dolphin Gull in flight, New Island, Falkland Islands

It’s a scavenger and opportunistic predator. This bird is cruising a mixed colony of Rockhopper Penguins, Black-browed Albatross and King Shags, looking for an unguarded egg of chick. But its smaller size make it a target for bigger scavengers and predators, including Kelp Gulls and Southern Giant Petrels. WC saw Kelp Gulls harass Dolphin Gulls into abandoning food.

Dolphin Gull patrolling the shore, Tierra Del Fuego National Park, Argentine Dolphin Gull patrolling the shore, Tierra Del Fuego National Park, Argentine

As a generalist…

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