Western gull Larus occidentalis

Identification Tips:

Adult alternate:

Adult basic:




Similar species:

Adult Western Gulls are dark-backed enough to prevent confusion with Herring, Ring-billed, Glaucous-winged, Thayer's, and California gulls. The Yellow-footed Gull of southern California is nearly identical except that it has yellow rather than pink legs and is a three-year gull rather than a four-year gull and thus shows a different plumage progression. Otherwise the Western Gull does not overlap in range with Great or Lesser Black-backed Gulls, but might be separable from both by shape, leg color, and mantle color. Beware of intermediately-colored Glaucous-winged x Western Gull hybrids, which should show larger bills than typical Western Gulls.