Glaucous-winged Gull

photo by Phil Swanson

Larus glaucescens
L 26″ (66 cm) W 58″ (147 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Raucous series of notes all on the same pitch. Also dull “ga-ga-ga” notes.

Description: Sexes similar. Breeding adults are pale gray above, and have a white head and underparts; primaries are all the same color above; dark eyes; large yellow bill with red spot; and pink legs. Winter adult is similar to breeding adult but has moderate brown streaking on the head. Third winter bird is like adult but has some buff coloring on the body and the bill is smudged with black. In second winter birds the back is gray, and the rest of the body is pale buff to white with little mottling, and the bill is mostly dark. First winter birds are pale gray-brown to whitish overall.

Habitat: Rocky and sandy beaches, harbors, and garbage dumps.

Where in Nebraska: Accidental. Seen at Lake McConaughy in 1995.

Fun Facts: In addition to consuming carrion and garbage, they have been known to kill and eat rabbits, pigeons and Glaucous-winged Gull chicks.

juvenile Glaucous-winged Gull - photo by Phil Swanson Glaucous-winged Gull - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)