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Colony of world's most endangered gulls decide to nest on dairy farm

A large group of endangered black billed gulls (the world's most endangered gulls) has taken up an unusual residence in Canterbury - a working dairy farm.

A colony of black billed gulls has left their usual nesting ground in favour of a paddock. Source: 1 NEWS

The birds are only found in New Zealand, and about 800 or so recently decided that James Henderson's farm was as good a place as any to set up.

"You could hear a hell of a racket one night and basically turned up one morning and they were there, still are," Mr Henderson said.

"Obviously being an endangered species we want to take extra precaution around looking after them and making sure they are there for future generations."

That sentiment is shared by Nick Ledgard of Braided River Aid, who says the birds choosing that spot is "very unusual", as they usually prefer river habitats.

"One of the reasons they're here is because that river is getting so full of weeds and they must have open areas to breed," Mr Ledgard said.

However, there could also be the potential for this new position to actually work to the birds' advantage.

"There are a lot of elements of farming which can blend well into conservation and our challenge is to identify them and make the most of it," he said.