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Gabion

Birds

Common name Gabion
Scientific name Larus marinus
Type Seabirds
Status Wintering

Large seabird (approx 78 cm or 30.5 in) with an also large wingspan (approx 165 cm or 5.5 ft). It is the largest gull in Europe. Black upperparts and wings, white underparts and head, long and pink legs and yellow bill with a red terminal spot.

Habitats

Marine environment

Where it lives

Typical species of the North Atlantic. It uses coastal areas and cliffs to nest and commonly also large inland lakes.

How it lives

Occasional wintering bird in the province and that can also be watched during its migratory passage. Gregarious. The Gabion breeds in colonies or alone. Nests on rocky ledges normally. It lays 2 to 3 eggs. Omnivorous feeding. This seabird is a very voracious predator, which practically eats everything, from fish to eggs and chicks of other birds. Very aggressive and opportunistic behaviour. It does not make long migrations, although it regularly reaches the southern Atlantic coast of Morocco in winter.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

In Malaga it is a rare, irregular or occasional species, although almost every winter some individual is detected in one of the fishing ports of the province. There are observations in the ports of Malaga and Fuengirola. It has been proven that it is associated with the huge flocks of Lesser Black-Backed gulls that spend the winter in the interior of the province, so it is likely that some specimens can be watched in the Fuente de Piedra lagoon.

Curious facts

The powerful bill of the Gabion allows it to capture chicks of other seabirds and even other species, such as ducks. Its hunting technique is alone or in pairs. It also steals the catches of other gulls (kleptoparasitism), but, as in most gulls, its main source of food is carrion and garbage. The Gabion is an expanding species.

Routes where it can be observed
Present
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Wintering Summer Resident Migration