Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version


Document Type



Mark A. Brogie, “California Gull in Keith County, Nebraska,” from Nebraska Bird Review (December 1986) 54(4).


Copyright 1986 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


The status of the California Gull (Larus californicus) in Nebraska has undergone a series of changes in recent years. Rapp et al. (1958) makes no mention of this species for Nebraska, although one was collected 19 March 1933 in Lancaster County (Hudson 1933) and is now an axial skeleton #ZM11152 in the University of Nebraska State Museum (Bray et al. 1986). Johnsgard (1980) lists the species as an extremely rare migrant or vagrant in most of Nebraska, while Rasche (1982) designates it as casual in spring and summer and accidental in autumn in northwestern Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota. Rasche and Johnsgard (1984) do not list the species for the Lake McConaughy area, although in recent years it has been seen there (Rasche, pers. comm.). Bray et al. (1986) consider it casual, and further state that personal communications with Richard Rasche indicate that this gull may be regular in western Nebraska. Despite the recent reclassification and sightings of this species, only one description of a California Gull has been published since the one collected by Hudson, that of a single bird seen 25 October 1965 at Lake Maloney, Lincoln County (Shickley 1966). The following includes the first photodocumentation of this species for the state of Nebraska.