Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Birds

Yellow-Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)

Description

The Yellow-Legged Gull is quite large, around 60 cm long, with a wingspan of approximately 140 cm. It can be recognised and told apart from other gulls by its deep yellow legs, large yellow beak with a red spot, and its grey back. It has similar traits to the Herring Gull(Larus argentus), except there is no dark mottling on the head and neck in winter, and the black patch on its wingtips is more extensive.

Habitat

It is particularly common along shorelines, ports and harbours. These gulls will rarely stray far from land when flying over water. During the breeding season, they can be found on sea cliffs, near lakes, and beaches, as well as in fresh water areas such as lakes and reservoirs. They are the most common gulls in Greece.

Diet

These gulls are opportunists, and will eat almost anything they can find. They will scavenge from refuse dumps, take discarded fish from nets, and predate upon other birds. The chicks and eggs of the Storm Petrel,Hydrobates pelagicus,is a common prey item. These gulls will also eat molluscs and crustaceans near the sea, and will prey upon worms, small mammals and reptiles further inland.

Protection Status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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