The State of Utah is home to a variety of beautiful birds, but the California Gull is the official state bird. This gull gets its name from the fact that it was first seen in the state of California. The California Gull is a medium-sized gull with a white head and body, gray wings, and a black tail. These birds can be found near bodies of water all across North America. In Utah, the California Gull can be seen near the Great Salt Lake.
Read on to learn more about the California Gull, including its habitat, diet, and breeding habits.
How Did the California Gull Become Utah’s State Bird?
The California Gull was instrumental in helping the early settlers of Utah survive. In 1848, a group of Mormon pioneers settled in the Great Salt Lake Valley in what is now Utah. The valley was a desolate and barren place, and the settlers were struggling to find enough food to survive. One day, a huge flock of California Gulls descended on the valley, eating the crickets that were destroying the settlers’ crops. The gulls saved the crops, and the settlers were able to survive.
On February 14, 1955, the California gull was adopted as Utah’s state bird by an act of the legislature(Utah Code, 63G-1-601. State symbols) and signed into law by Governor Bracken Lee. It was selected as a symbol of the state’s history and pioneers.
What Does the California Gull Look Like?
The California Gull is a medium-sized bird that measures about 18 inches in length and has a wingspan of about 4 feet. The adult California gull has a white head and neck, a gray back and wings, and a light-colored belly. The legs and feet of the California gull are black. The bill is yellow with a black tip. The California gull gets its name from the grayish-brown feathers that cover its head and neck during the breeding season. These feathers give the bird a “hooded” appearance.
The California gull is a relatively small bird compared to other gull species. It is slightly larger than the herring gull but smaller than the great black-backed gull.
What is the California Gull’s Diet?
The California gull is a scavenger and will eat just about anything. The bird’s diet consists of insects, small rodents, reptiles, other birds, and carrion. The California gull will also steal food from other animals, including humans.
The bird will forage for food in meadows, fields, and marshes. The California gull will also follow plows to eat the insects that are turned up.
In the winter months, the California gull’s diet shifts to include more marine invertebrates, such as crabs and clams. The bird will also eat dead fish that have been washed ashore.
Do California Gulls Have a Partner for Life?
Seagulls are interesting creatures. They are known to mate for life, but they don’t always stay together. If one partner dies, the other seagull will often find a new mate. Seagulls also have interesting mating rituals. The male seagull will present the female with a gift, usually a small fish, before they mate. Seagulls are also known to mate with other seagull species, which is how the California gull got its start.
How does the California Gull Behave?
The California Gull is a highly sociable bird and can often be seen in large flocks near waterways or coasts. These birds are very active and are known to fly long distances in search of food. They are also known to follow migrating birds and animals to scavenge for food. The California Gull is an opportunistic feeder and will eat just about anything, including carrion, small mammals, insects, and garbage.
These birds breed in colonies and nesting sites can often be found near large bodies of water. The female California Gull will lay 3 to 5 eggs which are incubated for 21 to 28 days. Both parents help to care for the young birds until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
What Does a California Gull Sound Like?
The California Gull is a noisy bird and can often be heard squawking near its nesting sites. The bird’s call is a loud, harsh “kraa” sound.
The California Gull was first protected in Utah in 1955 and was designated as the state bird in 1971. The population of these birds has declined in recent years due to human activity and habitat loss. However, they are still relatively common and can be found throughout the state.
The California Gull is a fascinating bird that has a long history in Utah. The bird was first protected in 1955 and was designated as the state bird in 1971. The population of these birds has declined in recent years due to human activity and habitat loss. However, they are still relatively common and can be found throughout the state. The California Gull is a highly sociable bird that is known to mate for life. The bird is also an opportunistic feeder and will eat just about anything. If you are ever near a body of water in Utah, keep your eyes peeled for the state bird!