Heermann’s gull (Larus heermanni) Description

Heermann's gull

Heermann’s gull, scientific name Larus heermanni is a Gaul resident in the United States, Mexico, and extreme southwestern British Columbia, nesting in Isla Rasa in almost all of the Gulf of California.

Heermann’s gull us usually found very well near the shore or out to sea, rarely inland. The species is named after nineteenth-century explorer and naturalist Adolphus Lewis Herrmann.


This Heermann’s gull species looks distinctly different from other gulls. Adults have a medium gray body, black-gray wings, and white-edged tail, and a red bill with a black tip.

In non-breeding plumage, the head is gray and white in the breeding feathers. The defects are similar to those of non-breeding adults but are dark and brown and the bill is flesh-colored or pink by the second winter.

Some birds, not more than 5 in 24, have white primary cover, which forms sights on the upper wings.

This Heermann’s gull species are less likely to be confused with other species, as it is the only white-headed, gray-haired gull found on the west coast of North America.

The faucet is described as deeper and more similar to the other gulls, but different in quality


Isla Ross Island near Baja California, in the Gulf of California, is home to about 9% of the current population of about one and a half million pairs, with small colonies in northern California and south of Nayarit in the south.

After breeding, the birds usually spread to central California and go north to British Columbia and south to Guatemala.

The only known active breeding colony of the herd of Hermann in the continental United States is located on the California coast when a number of gulls have been found to house nests on the artificial inundation of Roberts Lake until that time.

By the time the islands disappeared by 27 2007, the Heermann’s gull colony was nesting on a nearby terrace.

In June 2018, one of the colony’s main nesting sites was destroyed by a McDonald’s drunk driving accident on the coast.

In April 2019, after receiving permission from the city of Seaside, the Audubon Society of Monterey built a floating artificial nest in Roberts Lake in an attempt to restore the nesting area to the colony.

Heermann's gull

Heermann’s gull food

Heermann’s gull eats feed on small fish, marine invertebrates, lizards, insects, reptiles, and carrion.


This Heermann’s gull species are habitually colonized by many. The nests are often in density as 110 nests per 100 m2 (1,100 sq ft). Heermann’s gull gives two or three eggs gray in color, with gray and brown markings.

Heermann’s gull sometimes steals from the prey of other marine birds, especially brown pelicans, which are often allied.


Isla Ross was declared a sanctuary. During the breeding season, egg collection and instability are discouraged.

With a breeding colony concentrated on a small island, this species is at risk for a catastrophic weather event.

The success of the colony in any one year depends on the availability of prey and is related to changes in sea temperature.

It is for these reasons that IUCN has rated this bird as a “near threatened.”

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