(This week’s Bird of the Week is late; WC was off the internet for a while.) Another species from southern Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, the Dolphin Gull is a smaller member of the Larids, the gull family.
With its bright orange-red bill and legs, and yellow eye, it is possibly the easiest gull there is to identify in the field.
It’s a scavenger and opportunistic predator. This bird is cruising a mixed colony of Rockhopper Penguins, Black-browed Albatross and King Shags, looking for an unguarded egg of chick. But its smaller size make it a target for bigger scavengers and predators, including Kelp Gulls and Southern Giant Petrels. WC saw Kelp Gulls harass Dolphin Gulls into abandoning food.
As a generalist, with a broad range, the Dolphin Gull is in reasonably good shape. There are an estimated 20,000 individuals across the range, with no obvious threats.
For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.