Laridae – Gulls, terns & skimmers

One of the most widely distributed families in the world

Members of this family are a versatile group of primarily airborne birds that may be found all over the planet.

They are found in inland rivers; high Arctic and sub-Antarctic islands; temperate and tropical seacoasts; interior marshes and deserts; high Arctic and sub-Antarctic islands.

Gulls and terns are found worldwide; skimmers live in moderate to tropical climates, while skuas and jaegers live in temperate to polar temperatures.

White and black, with hues in between, are the predominant colors. They’re usually white on the bottom and light grey to black on the top. Their white belly is said to help them dive for fish by camouflaging against the pale sky, making them less visible to their submerged prey.