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Heermann's Gull Video Stock Footage
This species looks distinctly different from other gulls. Adults have a medium gray body, blackish-gray wings and tail with white edges, and a red bill with a black tip. The head is dusky gray in non-breeding plumage and white in breeding plumage. Immatures resemble non-breeding adults but are darker and browner, and the bill is flesh-colored or pink till the second winter. A few birds, no more than 1 in 200, have white primary coverts, which form a showy spot on the upper wing. This gull is unlikely to be confused with other species as it is the only white-headed, gray-bodied gull found on the west coast of North America.The only known active breeding colony of Heermann's gull in the continental United States is located in Seaside, California, when a small number of gulls were observed nesting on artificial fill islands on Roberts Lake as of 1999. After the islands eroded away by 2007, the colony continued to nest on nearby rooftops. In June 2018, one of the colony's main nesting sites, the Seaside McDonald's, was destroyed by a drunk driving accident. In April 2019, after obtaining a permit from the City of Seaside, the Monterey Audubon Society deployed a floating artificial nesting island in Roberts Lake in an effort to restore nesting territory to the colony.
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