|Conservation status||Numbers probably stable at the moment. Overfishing and pollution of the Gulf of California could cause problems for this species and other seabirds nesting there.|
|Family||Gulls and Terns|
|Habitat||In U.S., barren shoreline of Salton Sea. Visitors to Salton Sea concentrate on west side, mostly on open shoreline, sometimes foraging in flooded fields nearby. In Gulf of California, found around islands and shoreline, sometimes well out to sea but almost never inland.|
Feeding behavior not well known. Forages while walking, wading, or swimming, sometimes plunging into water in flight.
Usually 3. Olive to buff, marked with dark brown. Incubation is probably by both parents. Young: Probably fed by both parents. Probably able to fly at about 6-7 weeks after hatching.
Probably fed by both parents. Probably able to fly at about 6-7 weeks after hatching.
Fish, other marine life. Diet poorly known. On Gulf of California, probably includes fish, crabs, shrimp, clams, wide variety of other sea creatures. Also takes eggs and young of other birds. Will eat carrion, and scavenges around dumps and docks for scraps and refuse.
Breeding behavior not well known, probably similar to that of Western Gull. Nests in colonies, with different arrangement from those of Western Gull: nests are arranged in a line along beach just above the reach of the highest tides, and each pair may defend a narrow territory from the nest down to the water. Nest site is on ground, on beach or at base of cliffs, a short distance above the high-tide line. Nest is a shallow depression, lined with seaweed, grass, or other plant material.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Most are probably permanent residents within Gulf of California. Some (up to several hundred) move north to Salton Sea, California, after nesting season. Main arrival typically late June, with peak numbers in August; small numbers usually remain through winter.
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Songs and CallsSimilar to calls of Western Gull, but deeper.
Learn more about this sound collection.