Larus Smithsonianus - American Herring Gull | Center Moriches, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
Species: L. smithsonianus
Binomial name
Larus smithsonianus
Coues, 1862
Synonyms
Larus argentatus smithsonianus

The American herring gull or Smithsonian gull (Larus smithsonianus or Larus argentatus smithsonianus) is a large gull which breeds in North America, where it is treated by the American Ornithologists’ Union as a subspecies of herring gull (L. argentatus).

Adults are white with gray back and wings, black wingtips with white spots, and pink legs. Immature birds are gray-brown and are darker and more uniform than European herring gulls, with a darker tail.

It occurs in a variety of habitats including coasts, lakes, rivers and garbage dumps. Its broad diet includes invertebrates, fish, and many other items. It usually nests near water, laying around three eggs in a scrape on the ground. Read more

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