About Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus) Danube Delta
The Mediterranean gull (Larus melanocephalus) can be found in a single colony, located at Murghiol and declared ornithological refuge in 1938.
At the beginning of the 20th century the population of this species decreased dramatically, due to the colonisation of Dobruja and due to the increase of the anthropic impact on the area.
It is a migratory species, which comes to the Delta at the beginning of March and it leaves at the end of October. It comes to the Delta from the north of the Black Sea.
Its plumage is completely white, excepting its head, which is black. During winter time its head also becomes white, with one black spot on its ears.
Its food consists of mostly dry land insects instead of aquatic creatures. Usually, it hunts above steppes and humid meadows.
The Mediterranean gull has a particular cry, like a caterwaul, which distinguishes it in a mixed flock of gulls.
It nests in mixed colonies alongside other pond species, but it never cohabits with the yellow-legged gull. Their nest is a small construction on the ground, usually made from dry vegetation. The female lays 3 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 23 or 24 days. After the hatching, the nestlings stay close to the colony.
The natural enemies of this species are the jackal and the raccoon dog.