Breeding adult © Jessica Hadley eBird S43226597 Macaulay Library ML 87655101
Nonbreeding adult © Mason Maron
Third winter © Christoph Moning
Second winter © Bernardo Alps
Second winter © Bernardo Alps
+ 8
First winter © Peter Nguyen
First winter © Darren Clark
Juvenile © Alison Davies
Breeding adult © Jack Rogers
Breeding adult © Esme Rosen
Juvenile © Blake Matheson
Habitat © Jim Scott

Western Gull Larus occidentalis

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Large, stocky gull with a stout bill. Adults have rather dark gray upperparts and bright pink legs. Takes four years for immatures to progress from mostly brown to fully white and gray adult plumage; intermediate plumages are often mottled and messy. Starts to develop dark gray back in second year. At all ages, look for overall stocky shape and large bill. Strictly coastal, occurring along beaches and bays along the Pacific coast. Commonly seen around coastal towns and cities, but almost never ventures inland. Identification is muddied by frequent hybridization, especially with Glaucous-winged Gull at the northern end of its range. Hybrids can show any mix of intermediate traits; some are best left unidentified.