Larus genei (Slender-billed gull) 

Dunbekmeeu [Afrikaans]; Dunbekmeeuw [Dutch]; Goéland railleur [French]; Dünnschnabelmöwe [German]

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Larus genei (Slender-billed gull)   

Slender-billed gull, Egypt. [photo Lip Kee ©]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds in patches coastal and inland from Senegal to eastern Kazakhstan and India, while scarce in Africa, occurring along the far western coast and in East Africa. It is a rare vagrant to South Africa, where it is only been sighted once, in full breeding plumage at Durban Bay, KwaZulu-Natal in the period from 10-13 September 1999. It generally prefers shelter lagoons and embayments along the coast and large rivers further inland.


It mainly eats fish and aquatic invertebrates, hunting either by swimming through the water and plucking prey from the surface or by running quickly through shallow water, all the while 'ploughing' with its bill.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 


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