Utah State Bird - California Gull
The California gull, Larus californicus, was selected as the state bird of Utah by an act of the legislature in 1955 (Utah Code). Note: The state bird is the California Gull, however Utah Code generically lists it as the sea gull.
The California gull is considered the state bird of Utah by common consent, probably in commemoration of the fact that these gulls saved the people of the State by eating up hordes of crickets which were destroying the crops in 1848.
Orson F. Whitney says that in the midst of the devastation of the crickets, "when it seemed that nothing could stay the devastation, great flocks of gulls appeared, filling the air with their white wings and plaintive cries, and settled down upon the half-ruined fields. fields. All day long they gorged themselves, and when full, disgorged and feasted again, the white gulls upon the black crickets, list hosts of heaven and hell contending, until the pests were vanquished and the people were saved." After devouring the crickets, the gulls returned "to the lake islands whence they came."
The gull is about two feet long. The color of this bird is pearly-blue. It is sometimes barred or streaked with blackish gray. Aeronautic wizards, gulls are gymnasts of the sky, making the seemingly impossible appear effortless. They can appear motionless in midair by catching wind currents with perfect timing and precision while positioning their bodies at just the right angle. They are quiet birds, considered quite beneficial by agriculturalists, and are usually gentle creatures, exhibiting neither antagonism to nor fondness for man.
- California Gull (Great Salt Lake Waterbird Survey, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)
- California Gull (Utah Conservation Data Center, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)
- California Gull Photographs (Utah Birds)
- California Gull Publications (Utah Government Publications Online Digital Library)
- California Gull Song & Information (Western Soundscape Archive, Marriott Library, University of Utah)
Learn more about Gulls
- All About Birds: California Gull (Cornell Lab of Orinthology)
- The Feather Atlas: California Gull (National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory)
- Larus californicus: Californian Gull (Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology)