|Conservation status||Still has a shaky hold in North America, with nesting attempts scattered and irregular. Population here might not be self-sustaining, probably supplemented by additional strays from Europe. The Little Gull invasion represents a natural experiment, one which may or may not succeed. Other birds must have crossed the Atlantic in this way in ages past.|
|Family||Gulls and Terns|
|Habitat||Lakes, bays. In summer mostly inland around low marshy areas near lakes, also fresh or brackish marshes close to coast. Winters along coast, concentrating at protected shallow estuaries, mudflats, beaches, fresh ponds close to shore.|
Often forages by flying rather slowly and low, dipping to surface of water or land to pick up items. May land on water to feed; sometimes wades in shallow water.
2-3, sometimes 1-5. Olive to buff, marked with brown and gray. Incubation is by both sexes, 23-25 days. Young: Are tended and fed by both parents; may leave nest when a few days old, but remain in general area. Young capable of flight at 21-24 days, may leave nest area with parents but become independent soon thereafter.
Are tended and fed by both parents; may leave nest when a few days old, but remain in general area. Young capable of flight at 21-24 days, may leave nest area with parents but become independent soon thereafter.
Mostly insects. During summer and migration feeds mostly on insects. Also eats brine shrimp and other crustaceans, small mollusks, spiders, marine worms, and some small fish.
Breeds in colonies, those in North America usually small, sometimes isolated pairs. In courtship, 2 birds may walk around each other, heads tilted away, then go through ritualized preening or pecking at ground. Nest site is on ground near water. Nest (built by both sexes) is a shallow depression lined with grass, leaves, weeds; may be more built up if on wet ground.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Movements on this continent not known in detail. Primarily around Great Lakes in summer, on Atlantic Coast in winter, probably with some regular movement between these two areas. Scattered records for other parts of North America, at various seasons, mostly in winter. Those seen in west may come from Asia via Alaska, but Alaska records are almost nil.
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Songs and CallsA soft kek-kek-kek-kek.
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