Hartlaub’s Gull: Cape Town, South Africa

The Hartlaub’s gull or King gull is a small gull. which is a non-migratory resident of the Atlantic coastline of South Africa and Namibia.

About one half of the total population, estimated at 30,000 birds, are within the greater Cape Town area.

It is a mainly white gull with a gray back and upper wings.

The black wingtips have conspicuous white “mirrors”.

The dark bill and legs are red.

The Hartlaub’s gull has accommodated well to humans and can be very tame around habitations. It is an omnivore.

The Hartlaub’s gull  is the tenth rarest of the world’s 50 or so gull species but is common in Cape Town and is regarded as a nuisance, fouling buildings, making a lot of noise and bathing in urban ponds.

The name comes from the German zoologist Gustav Hartlaub.

Miles Hearn



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