California Gull

The California Gull (Larus californicus) is a medium-sized gull that is common throughout the western United States. Adults typically measure between 19 and 23 inches in length, with a wingspan of 49 to 54 inches. They weigh between 1.1 and 2.1 pounds, with males generally being slightly larger than females. Juvenile California Gulls are typically smaller and have less distinct markings than adults.

One of the distinguishing field marks of the California Gull is its yellow bill with a red spot near the tip. The head and upperparts of adults are a light gray color, while the wings and tail are darker. The breast and belly are white, and the legs and feet are yellow. In flight, the white trailing edge of the wings is also a distinctive feature. Juvenile California Gulls have brownish-gray feathers on their upperparts and brownish streaks on their breast and belly.

California Gull

California Gulls are migratory birds that breed in western North America and spend the winter along the Pacific coast, from southern California to Mexico. They typically begin arriving at their breeding grounds in late March or early April and leave in September or October. During the breeding season, California Gulls can be found nesting on islands, lakeshores, and wetlands throughout the western United States, including the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

California Gulls are omnivorous and feed on a variety of foods, including fish, insects, small mammals, and carrion. They are also known to scavenge at landfills and garbage dumps. During the breeding season, California Gulls will also feed on the eggs and chicks of other bird species, leading to their classification as a “kleptoparasite” species.

Overall, the California Gull is a widespread and adaptable bird that is an important part of the western North American ecosystem. With its distinctive appearance and migratory behavior, it is a fascinating species to observe and study for bird enthusiasts and researchers alike.

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