In Broome we only have Silver Gulls, but in the south of Australia there are also some much larger gulls. Pacific Gulls-Larus pacificus are generally found on the coast. However, after rain the Pacific Gulls can be observed among the dairy cows in paddocks close to the coast. The presence of the dairy cows helps you to comprehend the size of these large gulls.

Other birds found among the dairy cows in this situation are Common Starling, Australian Raven and Cattle Egrets. The colours black and white are well represented!

Pacific Gulls and dairy cows

The plumage of the Pacific Gulls changes from grey to the distinct black and white by the time the birds are three to four years old. The distinct red marking on the upper and lower mandible is not present on the similar sized Kelp Gull. The Kelp Gull only has the red colouring on the lower mandible.

Pacific Gulls of varying ages

The dairy cows appeared quite oblivious to the presence of the Pacific Gulls. As the paddocks dry out the Pacific Gulls return to the nearby coast.

These photos were taken near Toora in Victoria.

Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!