Larus Californicus – California Gull

Larus Californicus - California Gull found in the US

The California gull, Larus californicus is a medium-sized gull that is smaller on average than the herring gull but larger on average than the ring-billed gull, though they can be quite similar in size.

Quick Overview: Larus Californicus – California Gull
Body size: Around 11 in (28 cm) and a weight of 85 g (3 oz)
Main colors: White, Gray, Yellow, Brown, Red
Range: Western United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May, September, October, November
Conservation Status: Least Concern

California gull Description

Adult reproducing California Gulls have a white head, a medium gray back, yellow legs, and a dark eye. Adults who do not breed have brown striping on their heads. Adults have a yellow bill with a thin black ring and a red patch on the lower jaw, which is more prominent in breeding gulls.

Larus Californicus - California Gull found in the US
Larus Californicus – California Gull. Photo by: Nick Varvel


These birds have a length of 11 in (28 cm) and a weight of 85 g (3 oz). Their wings could range from 16 in (41 cm).


Fish, birds, small animals such as gophers and mice, rubbish, insects, and aquatic invertebrates are among the meals preferred by California gulls.


They can be found in any open location where there is food, such as rubbish dumps, scrublands, pastures, orchards, meadows, and farms. During the winter, it can be found along the Pacific Coast, primarily in maritime habitats such as mudflats, estuaries, deltas, and beaches.


These birds forage in flight or when swimming, strolling, or wading. They mostly consume insects, fish, and the eggs and young of other birds, particularly ducklings. They are opportunistic feeders who scavenge in waste dumps, marinas, and docks.

Larus Californicus Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Laridae
  • Genus: Larus
  • Species: Larus californicus

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds are during the Spring season (March-May) and during the Autumn season (September – November).

Distribution of the California gull in the USA

They can be found in Mexico, the United States’ west coast, the Great Plains, and western Canada. California, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming have all been documented to be home to the species. Depending on the season, the birds can be found in a variety of habitats. California gulls can be seen on the Pacific coast from southern British Columbia to southern Mexico throughout the winter. During the spring, the gulls move to North Dakota, British Columbia, Lower California, and Monterey, California. The gulls move southwest to the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California in the fall.

The California gull can be found in the following states in the United States – Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Larus Californicus – California Gull

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