Western Gull

Larus occidentalis

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4

WEGU

Code 6

LAROCC

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Western Gull is a large gull which resides mainly on the west coast of North America. Its range extends from Washington and British Columbia to Baja California. This bird is rarely seen inland, and nests on offshore islands and rock coasts. Small colonies also are found on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Nests are built on the ground or in crevices between rocks, and the usual lifespan is 15 years. The typical diet of the Western Gull consists of fish, krill, squid, jellyfish and other small invertebrates. The current conservation rating of the Western Gull is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Western Gull: This large gull has gray upperparts, white head, neck, tail and underparts, yellow eyes, a bright yellow bill with red spot near tip and pale pink legs and feet. It has gray upper wings, white-edged with white-spotted black tips. Diet includes fish, crabs, clams, eggs, carrion and garbage. It has a direct flight; strong, steady wing beats; soars on thermals. Sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Western Gull: This species breeds exclusively on Pacific coast of North America from extreme southern Washington south along Baja California. During winter, this bird regularly occurs north to British Columbia. Its preferred habitats include coastal waterways, beaches, harbors, dumps, and open ocean.

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Western Gull SONGS AND CALLS

Western Gull A1

Long calls are variable "eh-eh-eh" calls given while bird lowers and raises head.

Western Gull C1

Low calls followed by "keow" calls from a small group.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Kuk, kuk, kuk"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Western Gull was previously considered conspecific with the Yellow-footed Gull.
  • It was one of the antagonists in Alfred Hitchcock's famous movie, The Birds, which was filmed in Bodega Bay, California.
  • They typically live 15 years, but can live to at least 25 years.
  • A group of gulls has many collective nouns, including a "flotilla", "gullery", "screech", "scavenging", and "squabble" of gulls.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X