California Gull californicus

(last update: 22-12-2016 )

Alex Abela
John Cant
Mars Muusse

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1cy June
1cy July
1cy Aug
1cy Sept
1cy Oct
1cy Nov
1cy Dec

2cy Jan
2cy Feb
2cy March
2cy April
2cy May
2cy June
2cy July
2cy Aug
2cy Sept
2cy Oct
2cy Nov
2cy Dec

3cy Jan
3cy Feb
3cy March
3cy April
3cy May
3cy June
3cy July
3cy Aug
3cy Sept
3cy Oct
3cy Nov
3cy Dec

4cy / sub-ad Jan
4cy / sub-ad Feb
4cy / sub-ad March
4cy / sub-ad April
4cy / sub-ad May
4cy / sub-ad June
4cy / sub-ad July
4cy / sub-ad Aug
4cy / sub-ad Sept
4cy / sub-ad Oct
4cy / sub-ad Nov
4cy / sub-ad Dec

adult Jan
adult Feb
adult March
adult April
adult May
adult June
adult July
adult Aug
adult Sept
adult Oct
adult Nov
adult Dec

sub-adult: October

California Gull is relatively quick in maturation, compared to other large gull taxa. This results in an overall ‘adult plumage’ after the complete moult in 3rd cycle. From September onwards, when no old feathers of the previous year are present anymore to give a clue about a bird’s age, it becomes difficult to exactly age each and every individual. However, some birds may again show some immature features like black in the tail or black in the primary coverts or secondaries. Also, bare part coloration may hint to the true age: immature birds often have no saturated yellow legs, but a strong green hue. And the base of the bill is not deep yellow but a pinkish blue in California Gull.

See the ADULT OCTOBER section to check for birds that may appear somewhat immature in some respects.

California Gull californicus (sub-)adult, October 06 2018, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA. Picture: Alex Abela.
Seems to show a black spot in the tail.
California Gull californicus (sub-)adult, October 08 2017, Pismo beach, CA, USA. Picture: Alex Abela.
Some black markings on greater primary coverts.