Yellow-footed Gulls

The Yellow-footed Gull, Larus livens, is a large gull, closely related to the Western Gull.

The Western Gull was thought to be a subspecies until the 1960s


Adults are similar in appearance to the Western Gull, with a white head, dark, slate-colored back and wings, and a thick yellow bill.

Its legs are yellow, though first winter birds do display pink legs like those of the Western Gull. It attains full plumage at three years of age.

The gull measures 21-23 inches (53-58 centimeters).

Distribution / Range:

Yellow-footed Gulls are native to the Gulf of California in Mexico. Most individuals are non-migratory, but an increasing number have been traveling to California’s Salton Sea during nonbreeding periods.

The population is estimated at about 60,000 and appears to be stable.

Breeding / Nesting:

Their breeding habitat is the Gulf of California, where they nest either independently or in colonies.

Diet / Feeding:

The birds are scavengers as well as foragers, feeding on small fish and invertebrates and preying upon seabird chicks and eggs.

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