Saturday, July 23, 2011

Western Gull Larus occidentalis

All The Birds Of North America Western Gull Larus occidentalis

Western Gull Larus occidentalis Except for the closely related Yellow-footed Gull (L. livens), the Western Gull is the only "sea gull" on the West Coast with dark wings and a dark back, and in many areas along the Pacific it is the only nesting gull. Like most members of its family, the Western Gull knows how to fish, but is often content to scavenge along beaches and visit garbage dumps, or to trail after fishing boats looking for scraps tossed overboard. It breeds in colonies on rocky offshore islands.

Identification 20-23". Adult dark gray above with black wing tips; clear white below, with white head and tail. Bill thick, yellow, with red spot on lower half toward tip. Legs pink." Immature varyingly mottled brown and gray; reaches adult plumage in its fourth winter.

Western Gull Larus occidentalis Voice A series of raucous calls and squeals.

Western Gull Larus occidentalis Habitat Beaches, islands, inlets, and harbors.

Range Along coast from Washington to Mexico; some birds move north to British Columbia in winter.

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