Snapshot Sunday – Birds of a Feather

Southern Black Backed Gull.
Southern Black Backed Gull.

In Devonport, a suburb across the harbour from Auckland, we stopped to rest our feet and watch a lady feeding a variety of birds. We recognised the Southern Black-Backed Gull as we’ve seen these in Tasmania but were not sure about this other one.Apparently the juvenile Black-Backed Gulls are mottled like this one is but I can’t tell from my photo if the beak is the same. It is a different colour . Kiwi readers can you help me out with this one please?

*Note: I now think that the second bird is a juvenile Black-Backed Gull after all. I have seen some photos of them on a bird site and  they do have different coloured beaks when they are young. It would make sense for the juvenile to be with the adults who were feeding.

Author: Taswegian1957

Born in England in 1957 my family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. David passed away in 2015 and I'm here on my own now but I have Cindy the dog and Polly the cat to keep me company. I currently co-write two Wordpress blogswith my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and a "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania.

7 thoughts on “Snapshot Sunday – Birds of a Feather”

    1. Hi Dennis I had a look at that site and while it’s similar I think that what we saw was a juvenile black-backed gull. In the link you sent I read that immature gulls are often mottled and they do change a lot, even beak colour, as they grow up. Have a look at these.
      Funnily enough I have rarely seen immature gulls here in Australia, only some where they are almost in their adult plumage with just a trace of the mottled feathers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am no expert but I don’t think we do. The article mentioned the places these birds are found and I did not see any mention of the southern hemisphere. The most common gulls in Australia seem to be the Silver Gull, Pacific Gull and Kelp Gull. The latter two look rather similar to the ones we saw in NZ as well but obviously there is a lot more to identifying gulls than I first thought. You might enjoy the Birdlife Australia website which has information about all three.


      2. Further reading suggests that the Black-Backed Gull is also known as Kelp Gull or Dominican Gull and that these birds have been known to interbreed with Herring Gulls in North America so your suggestion was a very good one as the birds are very similar indeed.


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