More than 300 pairs of Audouin’s Gull breeding in Llobregat Delta

Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii) nesting colony is increasing year after year in Llobregat Delta, a small marshy area only 5 quilometers South of Barcelona. In 2011, 380 pairs were breeding in an artificial island in this wetland. The figure is very important since it is numbering more than whole population in countries such as France, Turkey, Croatia, Portugal or Cyprus (2008 World Audouin’s Gull Population Census).

 

IMG_4665

Audouin’s Gull (Ichtiaetus audouinii) is a typical coastal bird. Here an adult in flight along with a YL Gull (Larus michahellis). Image: Carles Oliver

 

Nowadays, and now talking on 2018, the bird can be easily seen from March to September along Barcelona coast line, often stopping at the town beaches few metres away from the people. Moreover, a overwintering population is to be found along the coast in the Northern Metropolitan Area.

First breeding record in Llobregat Delta is dated in 2009, when four pairs nested inside one of the Natural Reserve. In 2010 the colony moved to the current placement and 140 pairs breeded there. In 2011 their number have increased until 380 pairs with a rate of survival since over 300 young Audouin’s flew from the colony.

This is already one of the largest Audouin’s Gull colonies in the world. Ebro Delta (15.000 pairs in 2008) keeps being, by far, the largest one. Second largest colony is located in  Torrevieja (Alacant, Spain), where up to 3.823 were counted in 2008. The colony at Llobregat Delta had surpassed one of the most traditional nesting places for the species, the one located at Illes Columbretes (120 pairs in 2010).

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