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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

19 Wing-tastic Facts About The Pacific Gull For Kids

Know more about the Pacific gull facts here on Kidadl.

The Pacific gull (Larus pacificus) is a large gull of the family Laridae. John Latham, an English ornithologist, first described the Pacific gull in 1901. He described it from a drawing by Thomas Walting and was given a local name, 'Troo-gad-dil.' The specific term refers to the Pacific Ocean. There are two described subspecies, L. p. georgii, and the nominate L. p. pacificus. The genus Larus is a large gull genus, and species are spread across the world. Larus is a derivation of Latin Larus or greek laros, which translates to a gull or a large seabird. There are 24 extant species in this genus. Fossils of Larus species were found, which belonged to the Middle Miocene. The subfamily Larinae is called gull or seagulls, which consists of seabirds. These gulls are medium-large seabirds, commonly white or gray with black markings. Previously they were named mews, associated with Dutch meeuw, French mouette, Swedish mas, and more.  Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, a French polymath, introduced the Laridae family in 1815. There are ten genera with 54 species in this family.

If these facts were interesting, you can also check out black-headed gull and kelp gull facts.

Pacific Gull Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Pacific gull?

The Pacific gull (Larus pacificus) is a large gull of the order Charadriiformes and phylum Chordata. The Pacific gull flies around the edge of the water surface looking for food. This gull takes their prey with hard shells and drops them on rocks to break them one. This gull is a lot shyer than the silver gull, which is aggressive by nature.

What class of animal does a Pacific gull belong to?

The Pacific gull (Larus pacificus) belongs to class Aves of animals that do not migrate.

How many Pacific gulls are there in the world?

The population number of the Pacific gull (Larus pacificus) has not yet been calculated. There are 50 gull species spread across the world, found in every part of the world including

Where does a Pacific gull live?

The Pacific gull extends to western and southern Australia, Southern, south-east coast, Indian Oceans, and Tasmania. L. p. georgii subspecies are from Western and southern Australia and L. p. pacificus subspecies is from Tasmania and the southeast coast. They are also found between Sydney in the east and Carnarvon in the west. However, their population in the south-east is scarce as they face competition from the kelp gull population.

What is a Pacific gull's habitat?

The Pacific gull inhabits Sandy beaches, estuaries, bays, harbors, rocky coasts, wharves, and rocky headlands. They can be found flying and loafing around shorelines patrolling for food by the edge of the water in their natural habitats.

Who do Pacific gulls live with?

The Pacific gull lives in pairs or on their own.

How long does a Pacific gull live?

The Pacific gull lives as long as 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Pacific gulls or common Pacific gulls breeds in small colonies or scattered pairs on elevated areas on islands or headlands. There are two types of nests built. One of the nest types is a shallow bowl made out of feathers, grass, sticks, and seaweed. The other type of nest is depression or scrape on the ground unlined or lined with gravel or stones. The pairs build the nests together and females do most incubating the eggs and males forage for food while guarding the nest. Females lay up to two to three mottled brown eggs. The young pacific gull fledges from the nest after 50 days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Pacific gull is listed as Least Concern.

Pacific Gull Fun Facts

What do Pacific gulls look like?

Pacific gulls or common Pacific gulls are large and are mostly white-colored with a black back and wings and a powerful tipped yellow bill. These gulls have salt glands, which secret saltwater through their nostrils. The young pacific gull has a mottled brown body that attains adult plumage gradually. These young ones are usually difficult to differentiate from adults.

The eastern Pacific gull subspecies have full red bill tip and white eyes whereas the western Pacific gull subspecies have incomplete red bill tip and red eyes.

How cute are they?

The Pacific gull has tipped yellow bill and plumage that stands out. So, they are considered cute.

How do they communicate?

These gulls communicate through vocalization, sound, vibration, and visualization. The Pacific gull call is a loud 'ow-ow' and also a muffled 'awk-awk.'

How big is a Pacific gull?

The body length of Pacific gulls is 23-26 in (58-66 cm). Their wingspan is 54-62 in (137-157 cm). Pacific gulls are one and a half bigger than laughing gulls.

How fast can a Pacific gull fly?

The exact flight speed of Pacific gulls is not known. However, the average flying speed of any gull species is 22 mph (35.4 kph).

How much does a Pacific gull weigh?

The weight of pacific gulls is 1.98-2.6 lb (900-1,180 g). They are three times heavier than ring-billed gulls.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name given the female and male Pacific gull. Females are usually referred to as hens and males as cocks.

What would you call a baby Pacific gull?

There is no specific name given to the baby Pacific gull. Juvenile pacific gulls are usually referred to as chicks.

What do they eat?

The Pacific gull diet is omnivorous. They feed on invertebrates and a variety of fishes. They also feed on crabs, eggs, insects, and other seabirds. The most common crab species they feed on are paragrapsus gaimardii and Ovalipes australiensis. They also feed on sand flatheads and cephalopods.

Are they dangerous?

No, these birds are not dangerous to human beings.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they would not make a good pet. These birds are made for the oceans and forests.

Did you know...

The relative of Pacific gull, the western gull song is 'keow' and 'quock-kuk-kuk-kuk.' The western pacific gull is also smaller than Pacific gull by an inch.

Pacific gull predators in their habitats are not known. However, eagles and hawks catch the gulls mid-flight, and weasels and foxes hunt them down while on the ground.

The highest fledging success was among the pairs that nest solitarily on islets and reefs.

The great black-backed gull is considered to be the largest gull in the world.

Why do Pacific gulls have two temporal holes?

These gulls feel vibrations and listen to the sound and the temporal holes allow them to do so. This helps them grasp the environment around them and survive.

Pacific gull vs. kelp gull

The Pacific gull is much larger and bulkier than the kelp gull, making later species second-largest gulls. Both species' weight is almost the same.

The Pacific gull differs from kelp gulls in mandibles and nostril shape. Pacific gulls have round nostrils and red color on both their mandibles whereas kelp gulls have slit-like nostrils and red only on their lower mandible.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these ring-billed gull facts and glaucous gull facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring on one of our free printable Pacific gull coloring pages.

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