09 He aha tērā? What is that?

You see these large birds at the beach, or maybe flocking around a fishing boat, or perhaps inland. The adults are black and white; the juveniles speckled brown. He aha tērā? What is that?

Juvenile and adult, large birds on the beach.
Juvenile and adult, large birds on the beach. Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission.

Scroll down to see the answer.

Answer: it’s a kororo, black-backed gull:

Identification: Length: 60 cm; Weight: 1.0 kg

Similar species: Subantarctic skua

A large black-and-white gull with a white head and underparts, black back, yellow bill with a red spot near the tip, and pale green legs. Juveniles are dark mottled brown with black bill and legs; their plumage lightens with age until they moult into adult plumage at 3-years-old.

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