14 He aha tērā? What is that?

You see these very common white and grey birds on the beach, with their distinctive red bills and legs. He aha tērā? What is that?

White and grey bird with red bill.
Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission.

Scroll down to see the answer.

Answer: it’s a tarāpunga, red-billed gull:

Identification: Length: 37 cm; Weight: 240 – 320 g

Similar species: Black-billed gull

A medium-sized white gull with pale grey mantle, back and wing coverts, black main flight feathers with white tips, white iris, and bright red bill, eyelids and legs. Immatures are similar to adults but with brown patches on the mantle, brownish primaries, and dark brown iris, bill and legs.

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