Glaucous-Winged Gull

Range Map
Larus glaucescens

Glaucous-Winged Gulls are seldom found far from salt water. They breed along the west coast of North America from Washington to Alaska, and to the coast of eastern Siberia and Kamchatka. They spend winters along the west coast of North America and Mexico, and in Asia south to Japan.

Taxonomists regard the Glaucous-Winged Gull as monotypic (i.e. no subspecies).

My meetings with this species have (until recently) been limited to 2005 visit at Resurrection Bay in Seward (Alaska). The dock where the fishing boats emptied their catches was a gathering place for gulls. These birds and Mew Gulls (now called Short-Billed Gulls) alongside cormorants, battled over discarded scraps of fish. I spent several days in Seward. And my memories are fond ones. Someday I hope to return and explore it more thoroughly.

In the early spring of 2022, I drove the length of the Pacific coast from San Diego to Washington. While passing through Yaquina Bay, south of Newport, Oregon, I met these gulls once more. Glaucous-Winged Gulls in the Pacific Northwest often hybridize with Western Gulls. So I am not confident that the gene-pool of the birds I met there were all that “pure”.

11 Photos

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