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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

California Gull (Larus californicus)

Species Code: LACAL

Click to enlarge Range map

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat

Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)

Click to enlarge distribution map

Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records

Other maps & Information:
  • Breeding Bird Atlas
  • NatureMapping observations during breeding season
  • NatureMapping observations throughout the year

The California gull is locally common in the Columbia Basin, and along the Columbia River in Klickitat County, breeding colonially on gravel islands in lakes and rivers and feeding in agricultural lands, cities, and wetlands nearby.

habitat 212 picture habitat 522 picture habitat 312 picture

It's range has been modeled similarly to the Ring-billed Gull except not in western Washington, and with a more limited distribution in eastern Washington.

Many of the Breeding Bird Atlas records reported by observers as indicating "possible" breeders are actually from nonbreeding birds seen throughout the breeding season. In western Washington, nonbreeding birds are found in small numbers throughout the Puget Trough, along the outer coast, and near the mouth of the Columbia River. Migrants occur at high elevations throughout the Cascades. Birds in agricultural areas are primarily foraging on small rodents. The California Gull is ecologically similar to the Ring-billed Gull, though present in smaller numbers and occupying a more limited geographic distribution in Washington. Numbers at colonies vary annually, The creation of numerous dams for irrigation and hydroelectric projects in eastern Washington has increased habitat for this species, resulting in large population increases in the past fifty years. Hanson(1963) found that in mixed island colonies of Ring-billed and California Gulls, California Gulls used the higher habitats in the center of gravel islands and were less likely to suffer nest loss due to water level fluctuation.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester