Why is seabird poop good for the environment?

Why is seabird poop good for the environment?

The poop of seabirds is important for the environment, writes Jason Bittel for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Jason Bittel writes that seabird droppings – from Penguins and especially flying seabirds – help to fertilize plants, and whole colonies of seabirds depositing their poop can have a positive affect on coral reefs and climate. 

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RESEARCH: The four most common wild bird species in the world

There are 50 billion wild birds on Earth – but four species dominate – says a New Scientist article on 17 May 2021.

Earth has around 50 billion wild bird species according to a new global estimate, but most species are very rare and only a handful number in the billions.

Just four wild species have over a billion individuals, and they are the most common wild bird species in the world. This is in contrast to 1,180 species that have less than 5,000 individual birds each.

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Tongue of a Gull

What does the tongue of a Gull look like?

Birds do not have teeth, so their tongues and beaks are adapted to foraging (looking for food) and feeding.

The European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) is a large coastal bird. People often call it a Seagull, but as pointed out by a reader, it is a Gull, not a Seagull. It feeds on fish and crustaceans, such as crabs and shrimp. It is also a scavenger, feeding on human scraps. 

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The winter plumage of the Black-Headed Gull

The winter plumage (feathers) of the Black-Headed Gull is very different from its summer plumage. 

The Black-Headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) is a coastal bird, a common seagull in Europe and Asia in the Northern Hemisphere.

For most of the year, it has a white and pale-grey body with a chocolate-brown head – not a black head. It has black tips on its wing feathers. It has a red beak and red legs. But in winter its plumage changes.

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Pallas’s Gull

The Pallas’s Gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus) is a sea bird in the seagull family. It is also known as the Great Black-Headed Gull.

The Pallas’s Gull is white with a black head. It has grey wings and a grey back, with white ‘mirrors’ at the wing tips. Its legs are yellow, with webbed feet. Its beak is orange-yellow with a red tip. Its eyes are small and dark.

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Caspian Gull

The Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans) is a medium-sized bird, a seagull related to the European Herring Gull. Cachinnans means laughing.

The Caspian Gull has a mainly creamy-coloured body with a brown-grey flecked back and wings. It has a sloping forehead and a long yellow-brown beak tipped with brown-black. Its eyes are small and dark. It has yellowish legs with webbed feet.

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Western European Herring Gull

The Western European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus) is a large sea bird. It is a seagull.

The Western European Herring Gull has a grey back and grey upper wings, with a white head and white underparts. Its wingtips are black. Its beak is yellow with a red spot and there is a ring of bare yellow skin (eye-ring) around its pale eyes. Its legs are yellow.

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