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The Colors of Gulls' Eyes

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One of the most memorable aspects of a trip to the seashore is watching seagulls as they gracefully wing their way over the waves. The birds often alight to squabble over a tasty treat, sometimes being so bold as to approach your picnic trying to sneak a tidbit here or there. Interacting with seagulls up close allows you to see the color of their eyes, which can vary even among members of the same species.

Dark-Eyed Gulls

Most seagull species have brown eyes throughout their lifetime, with shades that vary from dark brown to nearly black. Commonly seen species include the California gull, black-headed gull, glaucous winged gull, Heermann's gull and Bonaparte's gull. Ivory gulls have dark black eyes throughout their lifetime.

Pale-Eyed Gulls

Other species of gull enter life with dark brown eyes that pale to gray and eventually golden-yellow in adulthood. The eye color changes in most species during the seagull's second winter. Herring gulls, lesser black-backed gulls and glaucous gulls are three species in which the adults have pale eye color.