Iceland Gull

(the Thayer's Gull is a subspecies of the Iceland Gull)

Colour - very like Glaucous Gull; individuals from Greenland with white wing tips, those from Baffin Island and elsewhere with brown or black wing tips (more common in Canadian water); eyes dark, although some have reddish eyes, surrounded by a red ring

Length - 48 to 65 cm; slightly smaller than Glaucous Gull

Shape - smaller bill and longer wings than Glaucous Gull, with wings extending well beyond the tail when at rest

Behaviour - breeds exclusively on cliffs; consumes primarily fish, but also eggs and young of other birds

Distribution - breeds on west Greenland Coast; also breeds on southeast Baffin Island, where the subspecies is called Kumlien's Gull; migrates through Davis Strait, moving south along Labrador to open sea south of Newfoundland in winter, returning north in spring

Sensitivity - see Sensitivity Information on the Birds - General Information page

Note - Thayer's Gull, a subspecies of the Iceland Gull, breeds along coasts in high Arctic north of central Baffin Island; migrates to the Pacific in winter, and often returns only as far east as Hudson Bay and Lancaster Sound; they are hardly found in Hudson Bay, but are common in Foxe Basin. The Herring Gull, which is very similar in appearance but has black wing tips, is common in southern Canada, but also in Hudson Bay and Foxe Basin. It breeds in most of Canada, including the Arctic. Thayer's Gull is distinguished from the Herring Gull by its dark eyes.

Herring Gull (a close relative of the Iceland Gull) (46 KB)Lancaster Sound Area
Distribution Maps:
This species is not sensitive in this area, therefore no maps are presented.
Coronation Gulf Area
Distribution Maps:

See the Birds - General Information page.

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