Klusha is one of the subspecies of the seagull. If we compare it with white and herring gulls, then it has a smaller body size, and a more fragile, graceful body. The color of plumage is darker, and it lives mainly on the northern coast of Russia, as well as in some regions of Belarus. Another distinctive feature of this species of gulls is their large wingspan, thanks to which they easily travel long distances and go for food even in the open ocean.
Origin of the species and description
Klusha belongs to the chordate animals, it is allocated to the class of birds, order Charadriiformes, family of gulls, genus of gulls. There are no exact data that would allow us to restore the chronology of the origin and evolution of the bird. In the most ancient sources, the white-headed gull is mentioned as a bird that is associated with water bodies.
In ancient times, people passed on from generation to generation the legend of these amazing birds. Its meaning was that the evil witch would find the youngest and most attractive girls and trick them into deep waters. She envied the beauty, youth and freshness of young girls, so she tried in every possible way to make them swim in a deep, sinister lake, which forever took away young beauties. However, their bright souls were reborn as white birds and settled near the reservoir. Subsequently, they more than once helped sailors who went astray.
Since ancient times, many peoples have perceived seagulls as an integral part of the sea. Many nations value these birds for their ability to keep the coast of water bodies in order. In other countries, on the contrary, they are considered symbols of evil and cunning. Birds are often compared to evil and very insidious people due to the fact that they spoil the facades of buildings and steal food from people, and catch from fishermen.
Appearance and features
Despite the fact that the bird is significantly inferior in size to its relatives, it still belongs to large birds. The body length of an adult individual reaches 45-60 centimeters. Body weight ranges from 400 to 1000 grams. Birds are sexually dimorphic – males are larger than females.
Interesting fact: The shrimp has a rather large wingspan. In some individuals, it reaches 140-150 centimeters!
Medium-sized birds have a tail that helps them balance and maintain their balance while flying. Its length averages about 15 centimeters. The body is elongated, streamlined, the feathers are tightly located to each other, covered with a special lubricant that ensures water resistance.
Representatives of this species of gulls have a small, round head with a long, thin beak. The length of the beak is on average 4-5 centimeters. It is most often straight, somewhat laterally compressed and bent down at the very tip. The beak is painted bright yellow. The eyes are small and mobile. The skin in the eye area is not covered with feathers, but is colored red or burgundy.
A gray-white mass predominates in the plumage color. The area of the head, neck, abdomen and tail is completely white. The upper back and wings are dark gray or almost black. Secondary flight wings are painted at the ends in pure white.
The limbs of birds are colored yellow or orange. This is also a distinguishing feature from other types of gulls, in which they are most often a pale pink color. It is worth noting that juveniles, under the age of four, look very different from adults and resemble white or silver seabirds.
Where does the chickweed live?
The distribution area of the birds is not too extensive. Most of the populations live on the northern coast of the Russian Federation.
The distribution range of the grouse is:
- Iberian Peninsula;
- coast Northern Ocean on the territory of the Russian Federation;
- western part of the Taimyr Peninsula;
- the coast of the Baltic Sea;
- the coast of the White Sea;
- the territory of the Finnish bay;
- coast of the Ladoga Sea;
- territory of Lake Onega.
The bulk of the populations of the saxa are migratory birds. Birds living in the northern and eastern parts of Europe move over long distances, in some cases reaching 7000 – 8000 kilometers. Some birds travel as far as Africa.
Birds that live in cold regions usually fly to winter in warmer southern countries. In rare cases, birds were found off the coast of North America. For permanent residence, birds make nests. As permanent habitats, they choose the territory near the source of food — reservoir. Most often, nests are placed on wastelands, rocky shores, cliffs, etc.
Now you know where the bush is found. Let’s see what this bird eats.
What does the bird eat?
Klusha is a type of white-headed gull that belongs to seabirds. As with other varieties of this fish, the main source of nutrition is food of animal origin. The bush can easily be called an almost omnivorous bird, since it does not disdain any kind of food.
What is included in the bird’s diet:
- various types of fish;
- small crustaceans;
- small rodents.
Zoologists have described cases when clovers ravaged the nests of other bird species and ate their eggs. Often birds can act as predators and select food caught or taken by other species of smaller birds. It is not excluded cases of eating plant foods. On the surface of the earth, they can feed on seeds, berries, succulent foliage of various types of vegetation.
Due to the fact that seagulls are marine fish, they tend to hunt on the water and get food there. They can climb high into the sky and look out for their prey from there. On the water, birds show the most virtuoso methods of searching and obtaining food. These representatives of seagulls tend to move well on the surface of the earth and on the sea surface. Birds can travel long distances in search of food. You can often see birds near fishing boats or fish dumps, fish processing centers.
Peculiarities of character and lifestyle
Birds are naturally endowed with incredible intelligence, quick wit and cunning. Sometimes they just amaze with their resourcefulness. Most representatives of this species of birds prefer to settle in close proximity to humans. Another prerequisite for a comfortable living of klusha is the presence of a reservoir near the habitat.
As a dwelling, birds build their nests. Those populations that migrate to warmer countries for the cold period prefer to occupy abandoned nests upon their return, if possible. The clovers use tree branches, dry grass, moss, pieces of reeds, etc. to build a nest. White-headed gulls are considered extremely voracious birds, which require a large amount of food to saturate.
Interesting fact: By nature, they are endowed with amazing quick wits. Having caught a mollusk in the sea, the birds rise high into the sky and throw the shell on the stone until it opens.
Many populations of fish with the onset of cold weather go on a long journey. Others move closer to the person – to the city. Clover easily and very quickly adapt to almost any conditions. They are absolutely not afraid of people, on the contrary, they try to be as close as possible and often beg for food from them. It is unusual for seagulls to make many sounds. However, if they sense the approach of danger or the approach of an enemy, they can make sounds similar to the cackling of ducks.
Social Structure and Reproduction
Birds reach sexual maturity at the age of one to four years. By nature, they are monogamous, which is why they tend to pair with each other once and for life. Before forming a pair, individuals observe each other for a long time, as if looking closely. Then mating games begin – birds can sing for a long time, make loud sounds, throw back their heads or feed each other.
After the pair is formed, the female begins to beg for food from the male, as a result of which he feeds her and takes care of her. Birds build nests in whole populations, not far from each other. The distance between nests is on average up to 3-7 meters due to the fact that the chicks hatched from the nest are very curious and walking nearby can be killed by other adults.
After the flight in the warm season, the birds return to the nests in pairs. Nests are most often arranged on the surface of the earth in thickets of grass or other vegetation. Bird nests are small. For one laying, the bird most often lays from 1 to three eggs. The eggs are small, dark green or brownish with dark, small spots. Eggs hatch, both males and females, replacing each other. Chicks appear most often after 25-28 days from the moment of laying.
The chicks hatched from the nest are covered with gray fluff. For the first few days, the chicks do not leave their homes; their parents provide them with food. Having got a little stronger, on the 10-13th day they are already walking freely. Some chicks can be removed from the nest at a distance of up to 20-30 meters. After a month and a half, the chicks hatched from the nest learn to fly. Birds reach sexual maturity at the age of four to five years. Klushi, like other types of gulls, are centenarians. The average life expectancy is 23-25 years.
Interesting fact: The maximum recorded lifespan of a chough is 34 years 9 months.
Klush natural enemies
Given the nature of the seagulls, they do not have many enemies in their natural habitat. However, it is worth noting that the chicks hatched from the nest can become prey for many predators.
Natural enemies of chicks:
- wild and domestic cats;
- golden eagles;
- arctic foxes;
- kites ;
Often, while walking near their nest, chicks can be killed by their own relatives. At the stage of laying eggs, the nests of the chickweed can be devastated by other predators and larger feathered birds. Often birds become victims of marine predators while hunting on the water. Man does not pose any danger to the bird population. Even birds that live in close proximity to human settlements do not become an object of destruction. People have never harmed birds, even in those regions where they considered them harmful and dangerous birds.
Seagulls are very aggressive and very cunning birds. In the event that they feel the approach of danger, they rise high into the sky, screaming loudly and heart-rendingly. When a large number of birds rise into the sky, they swoop down and all together beat the enemy with claws and beaks. This method of self-defense scares off even the largest and most dangerous predators. Having heard numerous calls of adults, chicks hide in the grass or thickets of vegetation.
Population and species status
Nothing is threatened with extinction today. Their numbers remain stable. These birds are very important and occupy a significant place in the ecosystem. They help to clean beaches and coasts from pollution and sources of infection. Klusha, like any other species of gulls, often feed on waste, as well as carrion.
In ancient times, clovers and other types of gulls served as important helpers for sailors. It was on them that the weather and direction of movement were determined. If the birds soared serenely over the sea surface or sat on the bow of the ship, the weather promised to be good. If the birds were sitting on the coast, it means that a storm or a thunderstorm will begin soon.
Seagulls are very smart birds. They perfectly adapt to almost any environmental conditions. With an insufficient amount of food, they tend to move closer to a person, where there is always food for them. The ability to protect their nests and unite in a moment of danger also significantly increases their chances of survival, and unpretentiousness and illegibility in food allows them to find food almost everywhere and always.
Klusha is a subspecies of white-headed gulls. These are small, graceful and very smart birds. They have a fairly wide wingspan, which makes them look very impressive in flight. Klusha are very important in the ecosystem, as they help to clean up the area near their places of residence.