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kelp gull

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: Kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus) inhabit both marine and coastal areas, usually the shore side of the continental shelf. They will roost in flocks at sea, in lagoons, on islands and often seek refuge on roofs of coastal buildings. A feature of this species is their ability to soar in thermals on hot days.

Distribution: Common in all Namibian coastal areas which include Luderitz, Swakopmund and the Walvis Bay Lagoon and the Skeleton Coast extending north to the Kunene River estuary. Absent inland.

Diet: Forages over open sea, along rocky and sandy shores, lagoons and off islands for lobsters, crustaceans, barnacles, plants and other floating flotsam, white mussels, snails and insects, berries, frogs and snakes.

Description: Often confused with the smaller lesser black-backed gull which has a more slender bill. The Latin name dominicanus refers to its pied plumage, which resembles the traditional habits of the Dominicans.

Breeding: Nests are usually a scrape in the soil built by the male using grass, twigs and large feathers. Up to 4 eggs are laid between September and January. Breeds up to 10km inland on the Skeleton Coast.

Size: 60cm. Weight: 1,000g. Wingspan: 140cm.

Courtyard Hotel - Walvis Bay

A business hotel close to the town center

Pelican Bay Hotel

Well situated with views over the lagoon and close to the ever popular Raft Restaurant.

Sossusvlei Hotels