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Hartlaub's Gull | Larus hartlaubii

The Hartlaub's 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 Hartlaub's Gull (Latin name Larus hartlaubii) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Larus hartlaubii can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 316 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 444. You will find a picture of the Hartlaub's 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 Hartlaub's Gull between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Hartlaub's Gull is known in Afrikaans as Hartlaubse Meeu.

The Hartlaub's Gull is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Hartlaub's Gull has a height of 38 cms and weighs around 290 gms. The head is coloured lavender, grey while the bill is coloured red. The Larus hartlaubii has a lavender, grey coloured throat, red legs and a silver, grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

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 lavender, grey

Eyes are brown

Bill is red

Legs are red

Throat is lavender, grey

Back is silver, grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.

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

This bird is a well known scavenger and rarely kills its own prey.

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 Hartlaub's 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 brown.

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.

You can see the Hartlaub's Gull bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

It is also seen in 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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