Glaucous-winged Gull

Larus glaucescens




Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Olive to yellow green marked with brown and gray.

Number of Eggs:

1 - 4

Incubation Days:

26 - 29

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Hidden in grass or weeds.

Nest Material:

Lined with moss, seaweed, grass, and occasional debris.


Some migrate



Glaucous-winged Gull: Large gull with gray upperparts and white underparts, head, neck and tail. Eyes are dark. Bill is thick and yellow with red spot on lower mandible. Wings are gray with white edges and spots or windows near the tips. Legs and feet are pink; dark brown iris with a variable red orbital ring. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has gray-brown head and nape; red spot on bill may become suffused with black in the fall. Juvenile is a pale gray with pale mottling, ashy black tail and black bill.

Range and Habitat

Glaucous-winged Gull: Resident from the Aleutians and coastal Alaska south to northwestern Washington. Spends winters south along the Pacific coast to Baja California. Preferred habitats include salt or brackish water along coasts, bays, estuaries, islands, beaches, mud flats, and nearby offshore waters; often found at wharves, dumps, fish canneries, and around fishing boats.

Breeding and Nesting

Glaucous-winged Gull: Adult birds frequently return to the same colony year after year, often re-pairing with a mate from the previous year. One to four olive to yellow green eggs marked with brown and gray are laid in a grass or seaweed nest built in a depression on a remote islet or headland. Incubation ranges from 26 to 29 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Glaucous-winged Gull: These gulls feed on carrion, fish, invertebrates and seaweed. They drop barnacles, sea urchins and mollusks onto rocks to crack them open. They have also been known to steal food from other seabirds. They seize food from the water surface or just below it, in flight or while swimming.


Glaucous-Winged Gull: Emits a raucous series of similar notes on one pitch; also a soft "ga-ga" when an intruder approaches.

Similar Species

Glaucous-winged Gull: Glaucous Gull is larger and has paler back and eyes, and white wingtips. Western Gull has darker back and white-tipped black primaries.


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

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