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Red-billed gull. (Chroicocephalus scopulinus) Otago Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand.Formerly Silver Gull (Larus novaehollandiae)

Red-billed Gull

(Chroicocephalus scopulinus)

I’ll admit, I hate photographing gulls. That’s because in the United States they are a real pain in the butt to identify.

But if you live in New Zealand, you only have three seagulls to choose from: 1) the ever-present Southern Black-backed Gull found across the Southern Hemisphere (known as the Kelp Gull in most places) 2) The somewhat rare Black-billed Gull which is endemic to New Zealand and 3) this guy, the Red-billed Gull.  Pretty tough to screw up, he’s got a red bill.

It used to be considered the same species as the similar-looking Silver Gull in Australia but since then has been given its own bona fide species status.

Photographed in the Otago Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand.