|Belcher's Gull Larus belcheri
(aka Band-tailed Gull)
Chilean name: Gaviota peruana
January / February 2007
Belcher's Gull is distributed along that part of the Pacific coast of South America that is influenced by the Humboldt Current, i.e. between northern Peru and northern Chile though it does disperse to northern Ecuador and central Chile.
|It is very similar to Olrog's Gull L. atlanticus found on the Atlantic coast of South America and used to be considered the same species.
It is found on rocky shores and offshore islands where it feeds on fish, shellfish and carrion.
|It might be confused with Kelp Gull L. dominicanus but is smaller and slimmer. The bill is less massive and the tip is entirely red or red and black while the Kelp Gull tip is restricted to the lower mandible. Breeding adults, seen here in photos 1 and 2 have a broad, black terminal band on the white tail, no white tips to the primaries and bright yellow legs.|
|Non-breeding adults (photos 3 and 4) have a blackish hood, a grey neck and a dark tip to the bill.
Second year birds (photo 5) have a blackish mantle and a black tip to the bill with duller legs while juveniles (photo 6) have a dark brown hood and breast with pale fringes to the upperparts.