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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Western gull (Larus occidentalis)

Species Code: LAOC

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only.
© NatureMapping Program

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Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Western gull photo

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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.

NatureMapping observations map   Map with Breeding 
Bird Atlas records
Observations | Historic Gap points

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


The Western Gull is common along the outer Washington Coast from Cape Flattery south to Oregon. Nesting on rocky cliffs and islets all along this region, and foraging in marine coastal areas and urban areas adjacent to the coast. Large colonies are known to occur in Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, and at the mouth of the Columbia river. It crossbreeds extensively with the Glaucous-winged Gull.

All cities, agriculture, open areas, wetlands, water bodies, beaches, and rocky cliff areas adjacent to the coast in the Sitka Spruce zone were included as good habitat in core zones in the region described above.

"Pure" Western Gulls can occur north to the San Juan Islands in the breeding season. A zone between Grays Harbor and Destruction Island contains roughly equal amounts of Western, Glaucous-winged, and intergrated gulls breeding in colonies. South of Grays Harbor, Western is the predominant large Larus gull.

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