Return of Bird of the Week: Kelp Gull

Wickersham's Conscience

Kelp Gull, Ushaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina Adult Kelp Gull, Ushaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

WC doesn’t intend to neglect the Southern Hemisphere’s birds. Here is one of the most widely distributed birds of the bottom half of the planet, the Kelp Gull. It’s found throughout the Southern Ocean, from Australia to South America to Africa, and from coastal Antarctica to Ecuador. It’s probably the most widely distributed gull on the planet. An omnivore, tolerant of mankind’s activities and highly adaptable, you have to admire it even if you don’t like it dining menu, which includes penguin chicks and carrion.

Second Year Kelp Gull, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina Second Year Kelp Gull, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina

Kelp Gulls are three year gulls; that is, they take three years to reach maturity. WC was there in late November, the start of breeding season, so, by definition, juvenile birds weren’t around yet. There was a lot of breeding activity, though.

Kelp Gulls mating, Antarctic Peninsula Kelp Gulls mating, Antarctic Peninsula

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