Colloquially Seagulls

Gulls are typically medium to large in size, 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. Most gulls are ground-nesting carnivores which take live food or scavenge opportunistically, particularly the Larus species.

Some curiosities :

Gulls nest in large, densely packed, noisy colonies. They lay two or three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation. The young are precocial, born with dark mottled down and mobile upon hatching. Gulls are resourceful, inquisitive, and intelligent, the larger species in particular, demonstrating complex methods of communication and a highly developed social structure.

For example, many gull colonies display mobbing behavior, attacking and harassing predators and other intruders. Certain species have exhibited tool-use behavior, such as the herring gull, using pieces of bread as bait with which to catch goldfish, for example. Many species of gulls have learned to coexist successfully with humans and have thrived in human habitats. Others rely on kleptoparasitism to get their food. Gulls have been observed preying on live whales, landing on the whale as it surfaces to peck out pieces of flesh.

Northern Gannet

The northern gannet (Morus bassanus) is a seabird, the largest species of the gannet family, Sulidae. It is native to the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, breeding in Western Europe and Northeastern North America. It is the largest seabird in the northern Atlantic. The sexes are similar in appearance. The adult northern gannet has a mainly white streamlined body with a long neck, and long and slender wings. It is 87–100 cm (34+1⁄2–39+1⁄2 in) long with a 170–180 cm (67–71 in) wingspan.

Some curiosities :

Nesting takes place in colonies on both sides of the North Atlantic, the largest of which are at Bass Rock (75,000 pairs as of 2014), St. Kilda (60,000 pairs as of 2013) and Ailsa Craig (33,000 pairs as of 2014) in Scotland, Grassholm in Wales, and Bonaventure Island (60,000 pairs in 2009) off the coast of Quebec. Its breeding range has extended northward and eastward, with colonies being established on Russia’s Kola Peninsula in 1995 and Bear Island (the southernmost island of Svalbard), in 2011. Colonies are mostly located on offshore islands with cliffs, from which the birds can more easily launch into the air. The northern gannet undertakes seasonal migrations and catches fish (which are the mainstay of its diet) by making high-speed dives into the sea.

The northern gannet was previously hunted for food in certain parts of its range, and although that practice still continues in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and the Faroe Islands, the bird faces few other natural or man-made threats. Since its population is growing, the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers it a least-concern species. Because it is both a conspicuous and a common bird, it is referred to in several ancient myths and legends.

Cory's shearwater

Cory’s shearwater was formally described in 1881 by the American ornithologist Charles B. Cory from a specimen collected off Chatham Island, Massachusetts. He coined the binomial name Puffinus borealis. Cory’s shearwater is now placed in the genus Calonectris that was introduced in 1915 by the ornithologists Gregory Mathews and Tom Iredale.The genus name combines the Ancient Greek kalos meaning “good” or “noble” with the genus name Nectris that was used for shearwaters by the German naturalist Heinrich Kuhl in 1820.

The name Nectris comes from the Ancient Greek word nēktris meaning “swimmer”. The specific epithet borealis is Latin and means “north”. The species is considered to be monotypic: no subspecies are recognised.

Some curiosities :

This shearwater is identifiable by its size, at 45–56 cm (18–22 in) in length and with a 112–126 cm (44–50 in) wingspan. It has brownish-grey upperparts, white underparts and a yellowish bill. It lacks the brown belly patch, dark shoulder markings and black cap of the great shearwater.

They nest on open ground or among rocks or less often in a burrow where one white egg is laid. The burrow is visited at night to minimise predation from large gulls. In late summer and autumn, most birds migrate into the Atlantic as far north as the south-western coasts of Great Britain and Ireland. They return to the Mediterranean in February. The biggest colony is located in Savage Islands, Madeira.


The Algarve is a paradise for lovers of marine life, where you can see dolphins, turtles  and a variety of seabirds.