Wild About Birds - Illinois Gulls and Terns!

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 Family and Species Gallery

Kingdom: Animalia - Animals are multicellular organisms that rely on other organisms for nourishment. There cells do not have cell walls. Most animals are capable of movement at least in some portion of their life cycle. Reproduction is generally sexual, but in some animals asexual reproduction may be utilized at certain times.
Phylum: Chordata - The Phylum Chordata contains the vertebrate animals. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes are included in this phylum. These animals have a notochord at some point in their development. They have a tubular nerve cord along the back. Gill slits and a tail are present at some point in their life cycle. They have an internal skeleton.
Class: Aves - Birds are the only organisms with feathers. They are endotherms, maintaining a nearly constant body temperature. They have a hard bill but no teeth. A gizzard, which functions to grind food, is present in the digestive tract. Fertilization is internal. A nest is built in which the hard-shelled eggs are deposited and incubated.
Order: Charadriiformes - These are small- to medium-sized shore birds. Their toes are usually webbed.
Family: Stercorariidae (Jaegers)
     parasitic jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus)
     long-tailed jaeger (Stercorarius longicaudus)

Family: Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers) - Gulls and terns are medium- to large-sized birds, often light in coloration. The bill is hooked at the tip. They have wide, long wings and long legs. The tail is rounded or squared. They fly and move through water very well.
     black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
     Sabine’s gull (Xema sabini)
     Bonaparte’s gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)
     little gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus)
     laughing gull (Leucophaeus atricilla)
     Franklin’s gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)
     ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis)
     California gull (Larus californicus)
     herring gull (Larus argentatus)
     Iceland gull (Larus glaucoides)
     lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus)
     glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus)
     great black-backed gull (Larus marinus)
     least tern (Sternula antillarum) [state and federally threatened]
     Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
     black tern (Chlidonias niger) [state endangered]
     common tern (Sterna hirundo) [state endangered]
     Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea)
     Forster’s tern (Sterna forsteri) [state endangered]
     royal tern (Thalasseus maximus)