Utah State Bird

What is the Official State Bird of Utah?

The official state bird of Utah is the California Gull. It is a bird that is medium in size. It is much larger than many of the other birds that are found throughout the state, but it is not as large as some of the other birds, such as the Herring Gull. Because of its size, the California Gull is relatively easy to spot throughout Utah, which made it a popular choice among those who were trying to pick a state bird.

What Does the California Gull Look Like?

The population of California Gulls can be divided into two categories. The first is the breeding adult population. These birds typically have a white head. They also had a medium gray back, dark eyes, and yellow legs. This is very different than the California Gulls that are not breeding. These birds usually have a brown streak of feathers on their heads. Then, they may have a small black ring with a red spot on the lower mandible. Breeding adults also have a red spot, but it is much brighter than those of nonbreeding adults.

When California Gulls are born, they usually have model brown and white feathers. The bill is also pink instead of yellow. Then, as these birds get older, the feather pattern begins to lighten up, and that resembles what people usually see in the forests and hills of Utah.

Why Did Utah Pick the California Gull?

Utah was one of the later states in the country to pick a state bird. It did not pick the California Gull as the official state bird until 1955. At that time, Utah was trying to find a bird that had not yet been selected to be an official state bird. Furthermore, they wanted to pick a bird that was relatively common in the local area. Because the California Gull had not yet been picked as an official state bird, and the California Gull is very common throughout Utah, Utah decided to go with the California Gull to be the state bird.

Where Does the California Gull Live?

The California Gull tends to live near rivers and lakes throughout the state. Then, they like the forward for food and a lot of open areas. For example, it is not unusual for people to see these birds going through garbage cans looking for food. These birds will also eat scraps that fall from trees during the fall. In addition to Utah, the California Gull can be found up and down the Pacific coast. They tend to be very social birds, and they like to fly together. They are also opportunistic foragers, so if they see a large section of food, the entire flock will dive down to start eating. In addition, these are not birds that migrate south for the winter. They are commonly found throughout Utah during the entire year, which is another reason why people in the state are so familiar with the bird.

Utah state bird
California gull
Scientific Name
Larus californicus
Year Became Official