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Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens


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Glaucous-winged Gulls
credit: Tony Fox/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Laridae, Gulls and Terns view all from this family

Description ADULT SUMMER Has pale bluegray back and upper wings with white trailing edge and white "windows" on primaries, which are marginally darker than mantle (charcoal gray rather than blue-gray). Bill is yellow with orange spot on gonys; eyes are dark with pink orbital ring. ADULT WINTER Similar, but has brown streaks and bars on head and upper neck; bill and leg colors often duller. JUVENILE Juvenile and first-winter are mottled pale gray-brown overall with dark bill. Second-winter is similar, but paler overall, with rather uniform pale gray back; dark bill often has pale base. Third-winter recalls winter adult, but bill is dark-tipped dull pink.

Dimensions Length: 24-27" (61-69 cm)

Habitat Common on rocky coasts. Winter range extends south to California.

Observation Tips Easy to find on most suitable coasts. Hybridizes with Western Gull. Hybrids have darker wing tips.

Range California, Alaska, Western Canada, Southwest, Northwest

Voice Utters a loud kwaaw call.

Discussion Large, bulky gull. Similar to Glaucous, but marginally darker overall in all plumages, with appreciably darker wingtips. Takes 3 years to acquire adult plumage. Legs are pink at all times. Sexes are similar.