Utah State Bird

California Gull
Utah state bird: California Gull Laruscalifornicus

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Utah State Bird Description:

  • Size: 9 to 21 inches (57-54 cm)
  • Wingspan: 51 inches (130 cm)
  • Weight: 15.18 to 36.89 ounces (430-1045 g)

The California Gull is a medium-sized gull. It has a whitebody, grey wings with black wing tips and yellow-green legs. The bill is yellow with a black ring near the tip and a red spot on the lower mandible. The eyes are dark with a red orbital ring. The male and female are alike in plumage, but the male is slightly larger thanthe female.


During breeding season the preferred habitats include interior lakes and marshes, while in winter, they are found mostly along the coast.


The California Gull breeds in northern prairie provinces east to North Dakota, south to northwestern Wyoming and Utah, and west to northeastern California. It spends its winters mainly on the coast from Oregon southward and in lesser numbers inland.


The California Gull is not a picky eater. It will eat fish, insects, earthworms, small mammals, grain, fruit, marine invertebrates... and yes, garbage.


Their nest is a simple indentation in the sand or dirt, lined with vegetation, feathers and bones, or nothing. They tend to nest in colonies. They breed on islands in lakes or rivers.

The clutch will contain 2 to 3 eggs and incubation takesabout 25 days.

A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Utah State Bird:

  • The California Gull is credited with helping Mormon settlers in Utah by saving their crops from a plague of grasshoppers. There is even a golden statue in Salt Lake City that commemorates the event. In recognition of their service, the California Gull was made the state bird of Utah.
  • Both parents incubate the eggs, taking turnsthroughout the day at about three to four hour intervals.

Are you trying to find the Utah state bird? Click here to find out how.

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