Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull

name = Iceland Gull
status = LC | status_system = IUCN3.1

image_width = 256px
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Charadriiformes
familia = Laridae
genus = "Larus"
species = "L. glaucoides"
binomial = "Larus glaucoides"
binomial_authority = Meyer, 1822, Greenland
subdivision_ranks = Subspecies
subdivision = "Larus glaucoides glaucoides" Meyer,1822"Larus glaucoides kumlieni" Brewster, 1883
The Iceland Gull, "Larus glaucoides", is a large gull which breeds in the Arctic regions of Canada and Greenland, but not Iceland, where it is only seen in the winter. It is migratory, wintering from in the North Atlantic as far south as the British Isles and northernmost states of the eastern USA, as well as in the interior of North America as far W as the western Great Lakes. It is much scarcer in Europe than the similar Glaucous Gull.

This species breeds colonially or singly on coasts and cliffs, making a nest lined with grass, moss or seaweed on the ground or cliff. Normally, 2-3 light brown eggs are laid.

This is a fairly large gull, very pale in all plumages, with no black in the wings or tail. Adults are pale grey above, with a yellowish-green bill. Immatures are very pale grey; the bill is more extensively dark than with Glaucous Gull, and lacks pink. It is smaller and thinner billed than the very large Glaucous Gull, and is usually smaller than the Herring Gull. It takes four years to reach maturity. The call is a "laughing" cry like Herring Gull, but higher pitched.

These are omnivores like most "Larus" gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey. These birds forage while flying, picking up food at or just below the water's surface, also feeds while walking or swimming. Their scavenging habits lead them to frequent garbage dumps, sewage outlets and places where fish are cleaned.


* Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
* "Seabirds" by Harrison, ISBN 0-7470-1410-8

External links

* [ Iceland Gull videos] on the Internet Bird Collection
* [ Iceland Gull photo gallery] VIREO

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