Living Bird Magazine
Glaucous-winged GullLarus glaucescens
- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Laridae
A large gull of the north Pacific Coast, the Glaucous-winged Gull is common in coastal cities and towns. Its wingtips are colored unlike any other gull's, being neither black nor white. Instead, they are a medium gray, not much different from the back color.More ID Info
- Gaviota Alas Blancas (Spanish)
- Goéland à ailes grises (French)
- Cool Facts
- The Glaucous-winged Gull takes a variety of food, including live animals in addition to carrion and garbage. It has been known to kill and eat rabbits and pigeons, as well as Glaucous-winged Gull chicks. Older birds are more efficient at finding food than younger birds.
- The Glaucous-winged Gull hybridizes extensively with the Western Gull, with the hybrids being the most common form in Washington. The hybrids can be similar to the parent adult forms, but usually have intermediate back and wingtip coloring. With the medium-gray back, dark upper surface to wingtips, frosty white undersurface to wingtips, and a darkish eye, a hybrid may closely resemble a robust Thayer's Gull. The flatter and larger head of the hybrid, and especially the thick bill with a pronounced angle on the bottom, should help distinguish it from the smaller, slimmer Thayer's Gull.
- The Glaucous-winged Gull nests on roofs of buildings in some areas. They prefer to nest on flat roofs, but will nest on peaked roofs in flat areas near chimneys or other structures.
- The oldest recorded Glaucous-winged Gull was at least 23 years, 10 months old when it was killed. It was banded in British Columbia in 1977, and found in Washington in 2001.