Glaucous-winged Gull is a large gull normally found along the Pacific coast,
breeding from the Washington coast northward through the southern and western
coasts of Alaska, and found along the entire North American coastline in winter
and migration. The species is only rarely found inland, and was unknown in
South Dakota until an individual was spotted along the Missouri River in the
winter of 2008-2009.
Habitat: Primarily found near coastlines. Found
less often in open water far from shore, and is only an very rare visitor to
inland lakes and rivers.
Diet: Omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of food
items including fish, crustaceans, squid, sea urchins, eggs, small birds and
mammals, and occasionally plant material. Will also sometimes scavenge for
trash and garbage and dumps and other sites.
Behavior: Uses a variety of foraging techniques,
depending upon food item being pursued.
Nesting: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Long, empty-sounding call. Locally variable.
Migration: Breeds along coastlines throughout most of
Alaska except the northern shores, as well as the western Canada coastline and
southward to Washington state. Winters in much of the same area, but also
extends southward along the entire coastline of North America.
Similar Species: Similar to other large gulls,
Click here for a page on tips for
differentiating between these and other gulls.
Has adapted well to a human presence, with populations seemingly expanding in
range and number in recent decades.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Glaucous-winged Gull
eNature.com: Glaucous-winged Gull
Photo Information: June 24th, 2007 - Off the
coast of Seward, Alaska -- Terry Sohl