The white-headed glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens) is a huge gull with glaucous wings. The genus name is derived from the Latin word larus, which appears to allude to a gull or other huge seabird. The specific epithet glaucescens derives from the Ancient Greek glaukos, which refers to the grey tint of its wings.
Quick Overview: Larus Glaucescens – Glaucous-Winged Gull
Body size: Around 24-27 in (61-69 cm) and a weight of 1250 g (44.09 oz)
Main colors: Gray, White, Yellow, Red, Pink
Range: Western Coastal United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: January, February, December
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Glaucous-winged Gull Description
The gray upper parts of this huge gull contrast with the white underparts, head, and neck. Dark eyes and a yellow bill with a red patch on the lower mandible. Gray with white edges and dots towards the tips, the wings are gray. Pink is used on the legs and feet.
These birds have a length of 24-27 in (61-69 cm) and a weight of 1250 g (44.09 oz). Their wings could range from 54-58 in (137-147 cm).
Fish, limpets, chitons, clams, mussels, sea urchins, barnacles, crabs, and squid comprise the diet.
Salt or brackish water along coasts, bays, estuaries, islands, beaches, mudflats, and adjacent offshore waterways are preferred habitats; they are frequently seen at wharves, dumps, fish canneries, and around fishing vessels.
On breeding grounds, the Glaucous-winged gull is territorial, resulting in numerous squabbles between adult birds, most typically males. Throughout the year, it is sociable, even with different gull species. The cries are compared to those of the Herring Gull, which include a range of extended wails, chuckles, and hisses, as well as the food-begging calls of young birds.
Larus Glaucescens Scientific Classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Chelicerata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Charadriiformes
- Family: Laridae
- Genus: Larus
- Species: Larus glaucescens
Best time of the year to see
The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the winter season (December to February).
Distribution of the Glaucous-winged Gull in the USA
From the Aleutians and coastal Alaska south to northwestern Washington, this species is found. Winters in Southern California, along the Pacific coast, Oregon, and in Baja California.