Conservation Status: Near Threatened, USFWS Bird of Conservation Concern
Description: This gull species is the most distinct of the species found in North America. The adults have a bright white head, red bill, charcoal grey body plumage, and dark legs. The juveniles are more uniformly dark without the scalloping on the edge of their feathers that other similarly sized gulls have.
Play Heermann’s Gull call:
Where to find them: Heermann’s Gulls are primarily found along the western coast of the United States, Mexico, and parts of Canada.
- Heermann’s Gulls sometimes exhibit kleptoparasitic behavior, meaning that they steal food from other birds.
- These gulls migrate in the opposite direction of most birds, heading north for the winter.
- In the past Heermann’s Gulls only had breeding colonies in Mexico, but there is now a colony in Seaside, CA. They are closely monitored by members of the Monterey Audubon and even have their own Facebook page!
Threats: Introduced Species, overfishing, the effects of climate change
How YOU can Help: Give these beautiful birds plenty of space at the beach and choose sustainably sourced seafood.
Audio clip from www.xeno-canto.com Recorded by Brian Henderson XC543847
Additional photography courtesy of Patrick Coughlin, Howard Freshman, and Sushanta Bhandarkar