Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni

Kamal Islam and Enriqueta Velarde
Version: 2.0 — Published April 9, 2020


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Geographic Variation

No geographic variation has been reported for Heermann’s Gull and the species is considered monotypic (48, 49). This reflects its highly restricted breeding range in the Gulf of California.



Related Species

Molecular phylogenetic analyses of 17 of the 23 (or so) species of gulls in the genus Larus (2) was not able to fully resolve the relationship of Heermann's Gull relative to other species. One analysis in the study found Heermann’s Gull to be part of an unresolved trichotomy, placing it as equally closely related to the Yellow-footed Gull (Larus livens) and a large well-supported clade including 15 different Larus species, such as the California Gull (Larus californicus) and Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) (2). Difficulty in resolving species relationships within genus Larus has been attributed to their relatively young age and occasional hybridization of some species (1). However, no hybridization has been reported involving Heermann’s Gull.


Spanish: Gaviota Plomiza

Cmiique Iitom (living language of the Comcaac, area´s first nation): Canocne

French: Goéland de Heermann

German: Heermannmöwe

Other Names: White-headed Gull

Fossil History

No data.

Recommended Citation

Islam, K. and E. Velarde (2020). Heermann's Gull (Larus heermanni), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.heegul.02