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California Gull

Photo by Bob Gress


Common Name: California Gull

Scientific Name: Larus californicus


Comments: These are large-bodied, white-headed gulls. Similar species include the Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls. Breeding California Gulls have a red orbital ring, dark iris, yellow-green legs and both a red and a black mark at their bill tip. Lesser Black-backed and Herring gulls have only a red spot on their bills and light colored irises. California Gulls winter along the Pacific Coast and breed on islands in saline and freshwater lakes in the interior of western North America. They are opportunistic feeders and are known to eat fish, vegetable matter, insects and young birds. The current record for longevity for this species is 30 years.