Utah State Bird
California Gull (common name)
Larus californicus (scientific name)
The California gull, a medium-sized seagull of the North American West, is a common sight from the southern California coastline to northern Manitoba. It has a white body, dark gray wings with black wingtips, and yellow-green legs. The bill is yellow with a red spot on the lower jaw, and the eyes are dark with a red ring. California gulls are omnivorous, feeding on fish, insects, earthworms, small mammals, grain, fruit, and various marine animals (shrimp, crabs, mollusks, squid). Gulls forage on the open ocean and on lakes, beaches, cultivated fields, lawns, pastures, marshes, sagebrush, and ranch feedlots. They will also scavenge at garbage dumps and in urban areas. The calls of the California gull are similar to those of other gulls, with a variety of high-pitched screeches and repetitive "aaa-aaa-aaa" barks. The gulls nest on gravel or sand bars in a depression that may be bare or lined with grasses and feathers. Both parents incubate the eggs, taking turns every three to four hours. Although named after another state, the California gull officially became the state bird of Utah in 1955.
ALSO KNOWN AS
California gulls forage while walking, wading, swimming, or flying. They can be seen in fields, following behind farmers' plows to eat the insects uncovered. Along the shores of salty lakes of the Great Basin in Nevada and Utah, the birds will fly or run through swarms of alkali flies with their heads down and bills open to eat as many flies as possible.
Breeds on the islands of inland lakes and rivers, particularly in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Winters along the Pacific Coast.
Range: North American West, from Canada's Northwest Territories to northern Mexico, generally west of the Rocky Mountains.
Migration: Migrates inland to breed
Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
Nesting Period: May–July
Size of Clutch: 1–4 eggs
Incubation Period: 23–27 days
Egg Description: Light brown to light green with a variety of spots, marks, and swirls.
Egg Size: 2.6 x 1.8 in (68 x 46 mm)
Herring gull, ring-billed gull, mew gull, Thayer's gull
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|Author: World Trade Press|