Hartlaub's Gull

© Karl Svendsen


Hartlaub’s gull (Larus hartlaubii)

Hartlaub’s Gull Appearance

The Hartlaub’s gull is a white gull, measuring 38 cm, with grey upper wings and back. It has dark wing tips. It has a dark red bill and legs. During the breeding season, it has a pale grey hood, but this is not always visible. The sexes are the same.

Hartlaub’s Gull Diet

The Hartlaub’s gull is an omnivore and feeds on a wide range of invertebrates, fish, molluscs and will scavenge waste. It is often seen feeding in dump sites. This gull will follow fishing boats for scraps or offal.

Hartlaub’s Gull Breeding

The Hartlaub’s gull is monogamous and breeds in colonies. Breeds on the mainland and offshore islands. The Hartlaub’s gull builds a nest out of sticks and shells directly on rocky ground and will use manmade structures. A very large breeding area is Robben Island.

Hartlaub’s Gull Behaviour

This gull will follow fishing boats for scraps or offal. It is a very noisy gull with a crow-like call.

Hartlaub’s Gull Threats

Of least concern.
The Hartlaub’s gull is becoming a nuisance with it fouling buildings and the noise it makes in the City of Cape Town.

Hartlaub’s Gull Distribution and Habitat

A coastal bird that is rarely seen far from land, at sea. Found on the West Coast of South Africa, from Cape Town up and into Namibia.