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Grey-headed Gull | Larus cirrocephalus

The Grey-headed Gull is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Laridae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Shrikes.

The description for the Grey-headed Gull (Latin name Larus cirrocephalus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Larus cirrocephalus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 315 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 443. You will find a picture of the Grey-headed Gull on page 416.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Grey-headed Gull between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Grey-headed Gull is known in Afrikaans as Gryskopmeeu.

The Grey-headed Gull has a height of 42 cms and weighs around 280 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured red. The Larus cirrocephalus has a grey coloured throat, red legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey

Eyes are yellow

Bill is red

Legs are red

Throat is grey

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Grey-headed Gull is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured blue.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The Grey-headed Gull is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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