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Lava Gull - BirdForum Opus

Photo by GordonH
Location: Galapagos Islands
Leucophaeus fuliginosus

Larus fuliginosus


Black head, black wings, dark grey body, paler gray belly. White upper and lower eyebrows, with red lids. Black bill and legs, inside of the mouth is scarlet. Sometimes, if the bird has an open mouth and the sun is shining, the scarlet shines through the mandibles and therefore is visible from the outside.


Endemic to Galapagos Islands.


This is a monotypic species, which is sometimes placed in genus Larus.


Coastal; breeds on sandy beaches or low outcrops near water.


Classified as Vulnerable in the 2008 IUCN Red List.1 This is probably the gull in the world with the smallest total population, may not exceed 400.


2 olive eggs are laid and incubted for 30 days. Young birds fledge at 60 days and are cared for by adults for a short period.

Diet includes fish, small crustaceans, and newly-hatched lizards. This species finds most of its food within easy reach of the shoreline, rarely landing on the sea.


  1. BirdLife International (2008) Species factsheet: Larus fuliginosus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/9/2008.

External Links

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