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.

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A former world-class swimmer, J.T. O'Connell shares her love of adventure travel, extreme sports and pets through thousands of published articles. O'Connell studied journalism at Grand Canyon University, and brings professional experience as a tour guide and travel consultant. She authors the blog, Traveling With Large Dogs.