Heermann's Gull

Larus heermanni

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4

HEEG

Code 6

LARHEE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Heermann's Gull has a very small range, with 90% of breeding confined to Isla Rosa in Mexico. Native to North America and Guatemala, this bird prefers neritic, intertidal, and coastal marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird fluctuates wildly, putting the bird at risk of severe population decimation and necessitating inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of Heermann's Gull is Near Threatened.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

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PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

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SUMMARY

Overview

Heermann's Gull: Medium-sized gull with gray underparts and dark gray upperparts. Head is white and bill is bright red with black tip. Tail is black and edged with white. Legs and feet are black. Dives into ocean to catch fish. Also steals and scavenges. Flight is bouyant and direct.

 

Range and Habitat

Heermann's Gull: Nests on hot desert islands along the coast of western Mexico, and migrates northward to the Pacific coast of North America as far north as southern British Columbia; it may disperse southward from Mexican breeding grounds. Found along beaches, rocky shoreline, estuaries, and lagoons.

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Heermann's Gull SONGS AND CALLS

Heermann's Gull A3

Interaction calls from a few birds fighting for food.

Heermann's Gull A1

"Ca-ca-ca" calls from a small group of roosting birds.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"kwak", "weee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Heerman's Gull is the only North American gull that breeds south of the United States and comes north to spend the nonbreeding season.
  • Of the current population of about 150,000 pairs, 90% nest on the island of Isla Rasa off Baja California in the Gulf of California.
  • Several attempts have been made to breed in California. So far these attempts have been unsuccessful, but eventual successful nesting is expected.
  • 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.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BACKYARD BIRDING

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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