Yellow-footed Gull

Larus livens




Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light olive to buff with dark brown markings

Number of Eggs:

2 - 3

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground, near water.

Nest Material:

Bits of vegetation, feathers, and miscellaneous debris.





Yellow-footed Gull: Large, dark-backed, white gull with distinctive yellow legs. Bulbous bill is yellow with a red spot near tip of lower mandible. Upper wings are dark gray with white spots near tips and white trailing edges. Sexes are similar; winter adult resembles breeding adult. Juvenile is mottled gray-brown and has dark tail, faintly spotted white rump, black bill and pink-gray legs; 1st winter is similar but shows more uniform gray-brown on upperparts, more solid white on underparts, and has pale base on lower mandible. 1st summer is similar to 1st winter but is more distinctly gray and white, and has black-tipped pale yellow bill. 2nd winter resembles winter adult but shows gray streaks on head and neck and has black tail and black-tipped yellow bill.

Range and Habitat

Yellow-footed Gull: This species is endemic to the shores and marine waters of the Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico. In its non-breeding season, individuals wander north to the Salton Sea in southern California and also the Pacific Coast of the Baja Peninsula. Preferred habitats include sandy and rocky islands.

Breeding and Nesting

Yellow-footed Gull: Nest is a simple scrape on the ground. Two to three light olive to buff eggs with dark brown markings are incubated by both parents for about 28 days. Chicks leave the nest within the first day, but stay in general vicinity for 30 to 45 days and make their first flight when about 49 days old.

Foraging and Feeding

Yellow-footed Gull: Feeds along shorelines and shallow waters along the ocean, and along the shores of the Salton Sea in southern California. Preys and scavenges on a wide variety of food items, including marine invertebrates, eggs, and smaller birds.


Yellow-footed Gull: Yelps and cries like other large gulls, but on a lower pitch.

Similar Species

Yellow-footed Gull: Western Gull very similar but easily distinguished by its pink legs.


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

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