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California Gull Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    The California Gull is a medium-sized gull with a round head. The bill is slender compared to other gull species. In flight the wings are long and pointed.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Ring-billed Gull, smaller than a Herring Gull.

    Relative Sizecrow sizedcrow-sized

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 18.5-21.3 in (47-54 cm)
      • Weight: 15.2-36.9 oz (430-1045 g)
      • Wingspan: 51.2 in (130 cm)

Regional Differences

Two different subspecies of California Gull exist. The gulls that breed in the Great Basin region of the western United States are smaller and darker backed, and those breeding in the Great Plains are larger and paler.