Short-billed Gull

: The Seabird With A Unique Feather Pattern

The Short-billed Gull (Larus brachyrhynchus) is a seabird commonly found along the eastern coast of North America. These gulls are known for their unique feather pattern and their ability to thrive in different aquatic environments. In this post, we will delve into the basic description, where to find this bird, habitat, food, and cool facts about the Short-billed Gull.

Basic Description:

The Short-billed Gull has a medium-sized body with a wingspan that ranges from 40-46 inches (101-117 cm). They weigh between 450-700 grams (0.99-1.54 lb) and have white plumage with grayish-black wings. Their bills are short compared to other gulls and are yellow with a black ring near the tip of their beak. Juvenile birds have brown mottled feathers on their back while adult birds have dark gray feathers on theirs.

Where To Find This Bird:

Short-billed Gulls can be found along the eastern coast of North America from Newfoundland all the way down to Florida’s Gulf Coast. During winter months, they migrate further south into Mexico’s coastal regions.


Short-billed Gulls prefer nesting on rocky cliffs or sandy beaches close to large bodies of water such as bays or estuaries. During migration periods, they can also be seen inland around freshwater lakes and rivers.


Short-billed Gulls feed mostly on fish but also consume mollusks such as clams and squid when available. They scavenge for food by hovering over water sources or walking along shorelines searching for scraps left behind by humans or other birds.

Cool Facts:

• The Short-Billed Gull is one of only two species that breed exclusively in Atlantic Canada.
• They often steal food from other birds like terns.
• They were once considered a subspecies of the Ring-Billed Gull but were later recognized as their own species in 2017.
• Short-billed Gulls have been known to hybridize with other gull species such as the Herring Gulls, producing offspring with intermediate characteristics.

In conclusion, the Short-billed Gull is one of many unique seabirds found along North America’s coastal regions. Their ability to adapt and thrive in different aquatic environments make them an important part of our ecosystem. With their striking feather pattern and curious behavior, they are sure to catch your attention on your next visit to the beach or shoreline!