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Dolphin Gull: 17 Facts You Won't Believe!

Dolphin gull facts are enjoyed by children.

The dolphin gull (Leucophaeus scoresbii) of the Leucophaeus genus and the Laridae family is a type of coastal bird endemic to the sub-Antarctic coast of Chile, Argentina, and the Falklands in South America. The name dolphin gull acknowledges the English explorer William Scoresby. The scientific name of the species, Leucophaeus scoresbii, along with the past common name (Scoresby's gull), pays homage to this explorer, William Scoresby. These birds are found commonly throughout their range. Currently, they are not threatened, and there is no need to regulate the dolphin gull population.

The dolphin gull (Leucophaeus scoresbii) forms monogamous pairs. It builds a breeding nest with its partner every year. Breeding nests are built among boulders, on open grasslands, or on volcanic rocks using vegetation and kelp and the nests are lined with grass. Adult gulls have a smoky gray plumage, while chicks have one of the boldest appearances among all gull chicks of different species. This carnivorous species mostly obtains its food by scavenging on the ground. However, sometimes these opportunistic predators also hunt. Some common prey of these birds are carrion, nestlings, invertebrates, and mussels. To know more facts about the bird, keep on reading!

For similar content, check out these articles on kelp gull and pacific gull facts too.

Dolphin Gull Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dolphin gull? 

A dolphin gull (Leucophaeus scoresbii) or Larus scoresbii is a type of bird of the Laridae family found along the rocky coasts of Chile, Argentina, and the Falklands of South America.

What class of animal does a dolphin gull belong to? 

The dolphin gull of the Charadriiformes order and the Leucophaeus genus belongs to the class Aves, the common class for all birds.

How many dolphin gulls are there in the world?

Larus scoresbii or the dolphin gull is a fairly common species found throughout its range. The global population of the bird stands at 10,000-28,000 individuals, which equates to 6,700-19,000 adult breeding pairs. The population trend is suspected to be stable in Chile, Falklands, and Argentina as there is no evidence of numbers declining. Argentina shelters around 700 adult pairs while 3000-6000 adult Larus scoresbii pairs live in the Falklands. However, the current population trend of the gull is officially unknown.

Where does a dolphin gull live? 

Larus scoresbii or dolphin gulls are found along the eastern coast of South America. The species inhabits rocky coasts of southern Chile and Argentina. It extends up to the remote Falkland Islands of South America. Some vagrant species of Larus scoresbii also occur in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Larus scoresbii of the Falkland Islands show some local movements within islands. These birds of the mainland of South America move towards the north of their range in the non-breeding season.

What is a dolphin gull's habitat? 

Larus scoresbii or the dolphin gull prefers to live in rocky coastal habitat areas, but it can also live near lakes on soft coasts. The species nests on low sea cliffs or sandy beaches during the breeding season. Mates are also found in marshy swamps. This bird prefers nesting in areas where there is enough availability of food.

Who do dolphin gulls live with?

Larus scoresbii, or the dolphin gull, is a social bird that nests in the vicinity of other sea bird colonies. The number of birds living in a colony ranges between 25-200 adult pairs. The Larus scoresbii can form colonies with several other bird species of the Laridae family and the Leucophaeus genus. The adult bird always prefers to live with its pairs or in loose groups, and very occasionally, it wanders alone in the wild.

How long does a dolphin gull live?

The lifespan of the dolphin gull has not been determined yet.

How do they reproduce?

Larus scorsbii or dolphin gulls fly to their breeding grounds at the start of September with their respective partners. These adult birds form small colonies in breeding grounds and breed within those colonies. They change their location with each breeding season. In the breeding season, these birds are usually more vocal to attract more individuals towards them. Pairs feed each other during the breeding season. Adult Larus scoresbii birds also perform a few courtship displays for each other, like flapping their wings vigorously accompanied by continuous calls. After breeding, the female Larus scoresbii lays two to three eggs. Chicks emerge after an incubation period of 24-27 days and are fed by adult birds until they mature.

What is their conservation status?

Larus scoresbii, or the dolphin gull of the Leucophaeus genus, is listed as a Least Concern species in the IUCN Red List. The species has a large range and fairly large population so has a long way to go to reach the threshold of being an Endangered species.

Dolphin Gull Fun Facts

What do dolphin gulls look like?

Birds from the species of Larus scoresbii (dolphin gulls) have a unique plumage. Their head and underparts are uniformly covered by light gray feathers, while the mantle is darker. The primaries of Larus scoresbii birds are black throughout, detailed with white stripes. This bird has a white tail and a pinkish heavy bill. Its legs are short and are of the same color as the bill. In the non-breeding plumage, they have dark brown feathers with a white crown.

The dolphin gull is carnivorous in nature.

How cute are they?

The pudgy structure and the light coloring of the dolphin gull make the bird look cute and gracious.

How do they communicate?

The dolphin gull (Leucophaeus scoresbii) communicates using high-pitched screams and squeals.

How big is a dolphin gull? 

The length of theLarus scoresbii (dolphin gull) ranges between 15.7-18.1 in (39.8-46 cm). These birds are similar in size to the black-headed gull.

How fast can a dolphin gull fly?

The dolphin gull, like the laughing gull, and other Larus species is a messy flyer with short flights. Its speed is not determined.

How much does a dolphin gull weigh?

An adult Larus scoresbii can weigh up to 18 oz (510.2 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female dolphin gulls are referred to as cocks and hens, respectively.

What would you call a baby dolphin gull?

A baby dolphin gull or Larus scoresbii is called a chick.

What do they eat? 

The Larus scoresbii (dolphin gull) follows a carnivorous diet. An adult Larus scoresbii feeds on marine invertebrates, mussels, bird eggs, carrion, and nestlings.

Are they intelligent?

Yes, Larus scoresbii are intelligent birds, like most species of gulls or seagulls!

Would they make a good pet?

No, Larus scoresbii would not make good pets.

Did you know...

Unlike the ring-billed gull, dolphin gull males and females do not show sexual dimorphism.

Why is it called dolphin gull?

The dolphin gull or Larus scoresbii is named after the English explorer William Scoresby. The unique plumage and the appearance of the juvenile dolphin gull resemble the body colors of a dolphin. Therefore, these birds are known as the dolphin gull.

Dolphin gull vs. kelp gull

The dolphin gull or Larus scoresbii of the Leucophaeus genus and the kelp gull (Larus dominicanus) of the Larus genus are two different gull species found throughout the Falkland Islands. However, the latter Larus dominicanus species is also found in other parts of the world, while Larus scoresbii is only found in South America. They have very similar plumage; however, the color of the bill and legs are different between Larus scoresbii and Larus dominicanus birds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these glaucous gull facts and silver gull facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable flying seagull coloring pages.

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