Mine, Mine, Mine

Red billed gulls scavenging at a rubbish tip, Southern Alps, NZ in background. On the way to work this morning I saw two or three gulls squabbling over a juicy piece of goodness knows what, toast probably, right in the main street. Dunedin is a coastal town so gulls are a common sight, ours are smartly coloured with red legs and feet, red beaks and a red ring round the eye. In New Zealand they are known appropriately enough as red billed gulls, whilst in Australia as silver gulls.
In common with gulls everywhere they have adapted well to the built environment, and can be found quite far inland following tractors as they plough fields, or scavenging on rubbish tips. The movie Nemo certainly caught the essence of gull-dom with the animated creatures squabbling and continually crying "Mine, mine, mine" as this still from an NHNZ Images movie clip shows.

NHNZ Images has a considerable amount of stock footage of red billed gulls, indeed the complete life cycle. The other common gull in Dunedin is a large one, the southern black backed gull, (known as kelp gull in Australia, South America and South Africa), it is virtually indistinguishable from the lesser black backed gull found on the east coast of North America and northern Europe. Coverage in the library of this species is extensive too.

One of the more unusual gulls featured in our collections, is the gray desert gull which breeds in the very hot Atacama Desert, Chile. Incubating its young on the nest, means protecting the eggs and chicks from the burning sun. It flies during the night to feed at sea some 200kms away. We also have the Arctic gulls, the glaucous gull and ivory gull; the American glaucous winged gull; and from Siberia the slaty backed gull.

Check out other interesting, intriguing and arresting images from the NHNZ stockshot library.