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Short-billed Gull - BirdForum Opus

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adult summer
Photo by bobsofpa
Denali National Park, Alaska, USA, July 2013
Larus brachyrhynchus


Length 38-41 cm, wingspan 100-120 cm, weight 325-495 g.
Adult plumage similar to Common Gull but with less black on wingtips, head more heavily streaked and bill with less black smudging in winter; iris mid brown, sometimes yellowish. Structure differs more, with relatively longer wings and more rounded head; bill shorter and weaker, and with less black marking in winter. Juvenile plumage markedly different, with uniform dusky brown head and underside, much broader blackish-brown tail band (no white base), and browner wings.


Breeds in Alaska and western Canada; winters along west coast of North America from Alaska south to Baja California, rare elsewhere in North America (but recorded east to Atlantic coast).
A scarce taxon, with a population of little over 10,000 pairs[2].

First winter
Photo by Joe Morlan
Pomponio State Beach, California, USA, 24 January 2021


This is a monotypic species[1].





  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Olsen, K. M., & Larsson, H. (2003). Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Helm ISBN 978-0-7136-7087-5

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GSearch checked for 2020 platform.