A widespread gull of the
western half of the United States, spending its summers in the interior and its
winters along the Pacific Coast. The California Gull is what inspired the
seagull monument in Salt Lake City, as it was the species that saved crops from
the 1848 grasshopper plague. It is very similar to the Ring-Billed
Gull and Herring Gull, and is intermediate in
size between the two.
Habitat: Summers near large freshwater lakes and
reservoirs. Often forages in dryland fields and farms for insects.
Winters primarily along coastlines, especially near beaches and garbage
Diet: Wide variety of items,
including insects, fish, eggs and young birds, small mammals, earthworms,
crustaceans, small lizards, frogs, carrion, and refuse.
Behavior: Will use almost any technique for
foraging, from swimming in open water, wading in shallow water, walking on
land, or foraging while in flight.
Nesting: June and July
Migration: Summers near in the interior west of the United States and Canada.
Winters along the Pacific coast and selected locations in the far West.
Conservation Status: Has increased numbers and
range in recent decades.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - California Gull"
Photo Information: July 18th, 2004 -- Below Oahe
Dam -- Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution California Gull photos.