Gulls & Terns

Laridae

Thirty-five species have been recorded in Australia, of which on the Pacific Gull Larus pacificus is endemic. Of the 11 gulls, the only other breeding species are the Silver Gull Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae   and Kelp Gull L. dominicanus. Several of the 23 terns breed in Australia, while others occur as regular non-breeding visitors or as vagrants.

Crested Tern

Crested Tern

In coastal areas, this medium-sized tern, with  robust yellow bill, grey wings and back, white neck and underparts, and scraggy black crest, is perhaps the most commonly seen tern in Australia.   In size, it is the second largest Australian species, second only to the Caspian Tern, which measures 50 to 55 cm, and has a huge red bill.  The similar Lesser Crested Tern, found in northern Australia, has...
Pacific Gull

Pacific Gull

This is a large gull. The back and wings are black and the head, neck and underparts are white. The white tail, with a broad black band towards the tip, and large yellow bill with red tip, distinguish it from the otherwise similar Kelp Gull L. dominicus . Young birds are predominantly dark brown and buff in plumage, the yellow bill becoming visible after the first year. It often occurs in small...
Silver Gull

Silver Gull

This is the smallest of the resident Australian gulls.  In adult birds the plumage is grey above, with a white head, neck and underparts; younger birds have varying amounts of brown mottling on the back and wings.  Adult birds also differ from the young in having conspicuous red-orange legs, bill and eye-ring; these are black to brown in younger birds.   The Silver Gull is common and widespread and...

White Tern

Gygis alba The moment that you are coming into land at the International Airport, is likely to be the first time that you see these ethereal birds. The White Tern in its various subspecies are found across the world’s tropical oceans. Despite their common name, it is more closely related to the Noddies than to terns. It is a dainty, white tern with blue to black bill, black eye-ring and feet. T...