Glaucous-winged Gull

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The Glaucous-winged Gull is a large, white-headed gull residing from the western coast of Alaska to the coast of Washington. It also breeds on the northwest coast of Alaska. During non-breeding seasons they can be found along the coast of California. It is a close relative of the Western Gull and frequently hybridizes with it, resulting in identification problems — particularly in the Puget Sound area. Glaucous-winged Gulls are thought to live about 15 years.

The Glaucous-winged Gull is rarely found far from saltwater. It is a large bird, measuring 69 cm with a white head, neck, breast, and belly, a white tail, and pearly-gray wings and back. The term glaucous describes its coloration. The ends of its wings are white-tipped. Its legs are pink and the beak is yellow with a red subterminal spot. The forehead is somewhat flat. During the winter, the head and nape appears dusky, and the subterminal spot becomes dark. Young birds are brown or gray with black beaks, and take four years to reach full plumage.

Photos

Glaucous-winged Gull, New York Botanical Garden

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