Department of Environment 2005
Truut is Rauma dialect. A word loue in Rauma dialect also means a sea gull. Some years ago Truut was chosen as a municipal animal of Rauma. It is a question of a large sea gull – herring gull, lesser black-backed gull, or great black-backed gull. The photo above is a great black-backed gull.
The report of the great black-backed gull in this brochure is based on the article of Raimo Sundelin in the newspaper Länsi-Suomi in 1997 and Raumanmeri in 1998.
The lesser black-backed gull, which can also be called Truut, was strongly declined in the 1990’s. 76 pairs of this sea gull, which is also called the most Finnish bird in the world, were seen to be nesting in 2003 in front of Rauma and Eurajoki.
The stocks of the third large sea gull, the herring gull, have been strongly increasing. One reason for that is its ability to utilize dumps for nutrition.
Sounds of the great black-backed gull are low and hollow. Very common are gaao-shouts or shrieking series. The bird disturbed from the nest alarms high gaga, gaga…The great black-backed gull is a long-life bird and it can live for some decades. A Finnish gull has the record and it is 25 years and 10 months.
From the 160 nesting birds in Rauma the great black-backed gull is the most studied one. In the beginning of 1930’s Kurt Enkola saw the great black-backed gull only once in the archipelago of Rauma. No nest was found. At that time the bird was considered to be a nutritional competitor and it was killed and the nest was destroyed like in old times. Pentti Forsten was counting the birds of the archipelago of Rauma in 1970’s. There were 1-3 nesting pairs between Rihtniemi and Eurajoki. E.g. in 1967 the nests were in Ulko-Kylmä, Trutkallio and Iso Pyrekari.
interested in sea gulls in mid 1970’s, when the species started to increase in
black-backed gulls arrive at the end of May from the southern
The great black-backed gull nests for the first time at the age of 4-5 years and mainly in single pairs.
1996 two pairs were nesting on the same island for the first time in the
archipelago of Rauma and appropriately on the bird protection rock of Trutbuda. The
nearest stocks are in Kustavi. The greatest colonies in
The great black-backed gull nests mostly on small rocks of a woodless archipelago. When growing in numbers it has also moved to the inner islands. Here it nests as well on Ruuhiluodonklopit as on Suokarit. To Laakonmatala it moved in summer 1995. A permanent territory predicts the municipal bird also to Saukonkarit.
The brooding starts from the second egg and the young birds pip the eggs in different times after four weeks. The young eiders pip the eggs at the same time.
The great black-backed gull and the eider can nest quite close to each other. The gull does not rob the nests, but easily picks up the young ones from the sea.
Young gulls start to fly in seven weeks at the end of July. Most great black-backed gulls in Rauma get their young ones flying. The most common single reason for a destroyed nest is human disturbance, when the crow takes the eggs. At the nest the gull is timid and from the present great black-backed gull mothers in Rauma only one attacks like a tern. It even recognizes my boat and comes towards it from far away!
The young ones stay long on their nesting island before forming gangs on their Truut rocks.
success of the great black-backed gull is due to the lessening of the
persecution and increasing of the nutrition. The species belongs to those
The catch increase in professional and free-time fishing together with fish breeding have also benefited the great black-backed gull. It hardly ever visits any dumps.
success of the catcher depends on the success of the catch. The eider
Being a municipal bird obliges
Was the great black-backed gull a good choice for a municipal animal? Did it have any good rivals? Other sea life? What about the jackdaw of Old Rauma?
The great black-backed gull is a magnificent bird, who manages by itself at sea and in the archipelago. So want the people of Rauma also do?!
black-backed gull has been nesting here e.g. on Kokkovuori already 4200 years
before the foundation of Rauma. The jackdaws came after the fire of
Symbols are selected because of images. Images must be met, too. Inhabitants of Rauma must take care of the sea and the archipelago in their decisions and actions. The archipelago must not only be a spare area for some efficient human action. The demand of becoming Europeans also concerns the non-building of the shores.
The brochure is a part of the PRE Rauma Sea National Park-project information. The future goal is a nature-preserving and canper-friendly national park to the outer islands of Selkämeri and the versatile inner islands off Rauma. The area is a natural sight with good possibilities to improve the knowledge of nature and the interest of nature.
PRE Rauma Sea National Park-project has been supported by LoSYK/EAKR
Back to the archipelago page
Back to the front page of the Department of Environment