New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

Extra Dawn Chorus Trip

Date posted: 20-Oct-2016

Stop Press: Extra Dawn Chorus trip now scheduled for Thursday 27th October 2016. ..

2016 AGM

Date posted: 06-Sep-2016

The 2016 AGM was held at the Kohia Centre at 7:30 pm on Monday 19th September. Click here (/..

Red-billed Gull

Scientific name:

 Larus novaehollandiae scopulinus

Maori Name:

 Tarapunga

 

 

Conservation status

 Threatened, Nationally vulnerable

Mainland status:

 Widespread and locally common

Size:

 37cm, 300g (male); 250g (female)

Lifespan:

 6 yrs (male), 9 yrs (female) (oldest recorded - 28yrs)

Breeding:

 October - December

Diet:

 Varied: small fish, crustaceans, molluscs

Red billed gull - photographer: Dr Kerry RodgersThis pearly grey and white gull has boldly patterned black and white wing tips. The short bill is deep bright red, the legs and feet are red and the eye is white. The call is a high pitched, raucous ‘scrark’.

The diet is varied and includes small fish, molluscs, insects, earthworms, eggs, offal, refuse, carrion and marine invertebrates.

Red-billed gulls breed between October and December in large densely packed colonies on sand spits, boulder banks, shellbanks, gravel beaches, rocky headlands and rocky islets. The nest, built mostly by the male with only a small input from the female, is composed of dry grass, seaweed, twigs and feathers. It is a small mound with a depression in the centre. The two or more brownish coloured heavily blotched eggs are incubated by both parents for 24–27 days. The chicks fledge at 37 days but remain dependent on their parents for a further 3 weeks. Immature birds have brown bills, legs and eyes, and brown patches on their backs; adult plumage develops in the second year.

There is a breeding colony of several hundred red-billed gulls on the east side of Tiritiri Matangi.

Learn more about red-billed gulls at New Zealand Birds Online.

Red billed gull - photographer: Max McRae


















Photography by: Dr Kerry Rodgers © (right) and Max McRae © (left)

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.