Terns frequently nest on islands or in coastal areas where there are few predators. They may also avoid predators by nesting on cliffs, in trees, or even in the water on floating vegetation. Gulls nest in coastal areas as well as in wetlands or along the shores of large lakes. Gulls use beaches, marshes, river or lakeshores, sand dunes, cliffs, trees, and buildings as nest sites. One species, the gray gull, breeds in the mountainous deserts of Chile and flies over the Andes mountains each day to find food in the Pacific Ocean. During the nonbreeding season, gulls will make use of almost any habitat close to open water. Skimmers nest on coastal beaches or in salt marshes, and move to the open ocean during the nonbreeding season. Skuas breed on tundra or grassy islands. The south polar skua nests near colonies of breeding petrels and penguins.
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