Monday, July 19, 2010
Gulls (often informally called seagulls or Seahawks) are birds in the family Lerida. They are most closely related to the terns (family Steroidal) and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders. Until recently[vague], most gulls were placed in the genus Lars, but this arrangement is now known to be polyphyletic, leading to the resurrection of several genera.
Gulls are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls, stout, longish bills, and webbed feet. Gull species range in size from the Little Gull, at 120 g (4.2 oz) and 29 cm (11.5 inches), to the Great Black-backed Gull, at 1.75 kg (3.8 lbs) and 76 cm (30 inches).