back to the Gull ID MainPage


Western Gull
(occidentalis/wymani)


IMAGES:

First Cycle
Second Cycle
Third Cycle
Adult


DESCRIPTION:

WESTERN GULL (24"-27"; 52"-56") occidentalis, wymani

BILL SHAPE: thick and blob-ended; 4 1/2 times eye diameter in length; gonydeal angle large; culmen w/ steep curve to tip
HEAD SHAPE: rather small and rounded; may have a small pinheaded look
WING EXTENSTION: bill length or less
POSTURE/HABITS: ...
FIRST CYCLE SECOND CYCLE THIRD CYCLE ADULT
BILL COLOR: black; some pink at base by summer variable; usually with pale pink or yellow base and culmen; black subterm band or tip and dark around nostril variable; usually w/ pale yellow base, culmen, and lower edge; dark subterm band; gon spot possible bright schoolbus yellow, nearly orange-yellow w/ pale yellow tip; gon spot orange-red
LEG COLOR: dirty dark pink dull dirty pink pink to light pink light salmon pink
IRIS/ORB RING: dark dark; achieving adult color by late winter or spring as adult gold to brown, appearing dark from a distance, on occidentalis, light yellow rare; pale gray on wymani; orb ring mustard yellow
HEAD: dark sooty gray; often solid around eye and auriculars, giving masked look; diffusely streaked or blotchy elsewhere; paler behind auriculars, on nape and throat smudged dusky, esp around eye and on rear crown, aurs, and lower nape; streaky only on nape and neck sides; aur edge is palest smudging across crown, auriculars, and lower nape; darkest across nape; no streaking; may be nearly white white all year; very slight winter smudging possible in occidentalis
UNDERPARTS: blotchy to uniform dark sooty gray from breast to belly; undt covs irreg. barred white w/ light mottling on breast and belly; undt covs white some mottling possible on breast sides; belly white white
PRIMARIES
(folded):
blackish black w/ faint pale tips possible black; tiny A-spots rarely visible black w/ A-spots larger than eye, except A10, same size as eye
PRIMARIES
(in flight):
blackish above and below outer Ps black; inner Ps paler w/ white trailing edge like adult but usually lacks mirror and A-spots; black area more extensive, esp on P covs extensive black on outer Ps; large mirror on P10; rarely small mirror on P9; often slight pale tongue on P5; often black mark on P4; quite dark underneath
SECONDARIES
(in flight):
blackish above and below w/ pale fringe dark w/ large white trailing edge as adult trailing edge about 1/2 bill length; quite dark underneath; shows white skirt when standing
TERTIALS: very dark w/ white tip or subterm cresent or chevron solid dark g-b w/ extensive marbled tips adult gray w/ traces of brown, esp on inner webs adult gray w/ white cres., about 1/2 bill length
GREATER COVERTS: fairly solid dark brown w/ pale fringe and sub- term spot; inner feathers more spotted; appears as a dark bar in flight; prone to fade brownish solid med dark g-b, often w/ extensive pale or marbled tips adult gray w/ traces of brown; slightly mottled adult gray
LESSER & MED COVERTS: dark brown w/ pale edges giving a dark scaled or mottled look med g-b w/ darker centers, giving a muddy look; some adult gray possible adult gray w/ traces of brown adult gray
SCAPULARS: fairly solid sooty g-b w/ dirty pale fringes, looking scaled on young birds but darker later adult gray; white scap. cresent 1/3 bill length often visible as adult adult gray w/ white cresent about 1/3 bill length
BACK: as scaps, but w/ less pale fringe, appearing darker; may have some adult gray adult gray mixed w/ bits of brown as adult adult gray is med dark in occidentalis (not much darker than California); quite dark in wymani
RUMP: quite white, filled w/ irregular dark bars mostly white w/ some dark smudges white white
TAIL: solid black w/ pale fringe; faintly mottled bases of outer retrices from below; rarely pale bars on outermost webs all dark w/ obvious pale fringe; pale mottled bases to outer retrices white w/ irregular jagged subterm black band; outer webs white white

The was table created by Steve Hampton and is intended to futher our knowledge of gull identification. Please email me at shampton@ospr.dfg.ca.gov if you have any suggestions for updating or improving this table. Thanks.