Glaucous-winged Gull

glaucous-winged gull - breeding
Glaucous Winged Gull – breeding
Glaucous-winged gull - Non-breeding
Glaucous-winged gull – Non-breeding

Breeding adult Glaucous-winged Gulls have white heads and dark eyes. They have yellow bills with a red spot near the tip. They have silver-gray backs and wings with white wingtips. Their underparts are white and their legs are pink. 

Non-breeding adult Glaucous-winged Gulls look similar to breeding adults except that their heads, napes, and necks have varying degrees of tan or light brown smudges or mottling. They still have the same yellow bill with a red spot, gray backs and wings (with white wingtips), white bellies, and pink legs. 

Juveniles take four years before they reach adult plumage. First-winter birds are generally mottled pale brown and white all over with black bills and pink legs.

  • Larus glaucescens
  • Length: 19.7 – 23.2 in (50 – 59 cm)
  • Weight: 31.8 – 42.3 oz (900-1200 g)
  • Wingspan: 47.2 – 56.3 in (120 – 143 cm)


Glaucous-winged Gulls are resident all year along the Pacific Coast of North America and they also breed along the Pacific coast of Russia

Habitat And Diet

You can find Glaucous-winged Gulls living on small, treeless islands in the ocean but close to shorelines. They often forage in sheltered coves, rocky beaches, and rocky tidepools. They are accustomed to living in urban areas and stay close to fishing vessels to partake of spilled or discarded fish. 

Glaucous-winged Gulls eat a variety of prey. They hunt in tidal areas where they catch crabs, sea stars, oysters, clams, or fish. They also target birds, eggs, and chicks and may scavenge for dead animals or scraps from garbage bags in urban areas. 

Glaucous-winged Gull Calls:


Nests of Glaucous-winged Gulls are built by both parents on treeless islands in the ocean close to shore. They build a nest scrape made of grasses, weeds, moss, roots, and dead twigs. They may also build their nests on roofs or cliffs.

The female lays one to four eggs and incubation takes twenty-six to twenty-nine days by both parents. 

Fun Fact:

Glaucous-winged Gulls dropped shellfish onto rocks to break the shells before eating the soft insides.