LIFER: American Herring gull

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American Herring Gull. Picture by Leon Pors.

Curaçao is on a roll birdwatching wise. This year has proved to be such an exciting one for us, with all the new discoveries and new records for the island it’s incredible. And it isn’t done yet. On December 5th we discovered yet another new species for the island, a new record which brings the total of observed bird species on the island to 260! It has been so busy with bird watching trips and other work that we haven’t had time to upload this new record on our blog before (and there are more Lifers which have to be uploaded still ♥)

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Picture by Leon Pors.

During a Bird Watching Trip with visitors on December 5th we started birdwatching at the area of Koredor when one bird immediately caught the eye, because of its enormous size. We decided to get a little closer and took a great many pictures to be able to submit our bird experts, who are always ready to help, with good identification images. And of course we immediately informed our fellow local bird watching team members about the newest bird on the block.

The official identification of the species came in the very next day. Meet the American Herring Gull. This individual was an immature bird. The species has been recorded on Bonaire and Aruba, but never on Curaçao, until now!

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Picture by Leon Pors.

The American Herring Gull is considered to be a subspecies of the Herring Gull and is scientifically called Larus argentatus smithsonianus.

These birds are indeed huge, and measure about 60 cm from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail, but its size is really in the bulk of its breast. For comparison, check the picture below where the bird is standing next to the familiar local Laughing Gull (Lachmeeuw, Kahele komun).

Species #260, and what a LIFER for Curaçao and for us personally. #Gullsarecool

Herring Gull and laughing gull comparison_350x
American Herring Gull on the right and Laughing gull on the left. Picture by Michelle Pors-da Costa Gomez.

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