Hellenica World

Larus glaucoides

Larus glaucoides (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Charadriiformes
Subordo: Lari
Familia: Laridae
Subfamilia: Larinae
Genus: Larus
Species: Larus glaucoides
Subspecies: L. g. glaucoides - L. g. kumlieni


Larus glaucoides B. Meyer, 1822


* Zusätze und Berichtigungen zu Meyers und Wolfs Taschenbuch der deutschen Vögelkunde, nebst kurzer Beschreibungen derjenigen Vögel p.197

Vernacular names
Česky: Racek polární
Deutsch: Polarmöwe
Ελληνικά: Παγόγλαρος
English: Iceland Gull
Esperanto: Blankflugila mevo
Français: Goéland à ailes blanches
한국어: 작은흰갈매기
Lietuvių: Mažasis poliarinis kiras
Nederlands: Kleine burgemeester
日本語: アイスランドカモメ
‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Grønlandsmåke
‪Norsk (nynorsk)‬: Grønlandsmåse
Polski: Mewa polarna
Suomi: Grönlanninlokki
Svenska: Vitvingad trut

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.

The American taxon Kumlien's Gull is often considered a subspecies of Iceland 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.

The nominate subspecies, glaucoides, is a fairly large gull, very pale in all plumages, with absolutely no melanin in the tips of the primaries in adult plumage. 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. For a description of Kumlien's Gull, see that taxon's entry.

These are omnivores like most Larus gulls, eating fish, molluscs, offal, scraps and eggs. 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.


* BirdLife International (2004). Larus glaucoides. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
* Seabirds by Harrison, ISBN 0-7470-1410-8
* Bull, John; Farrand, Jr., John (April 1984). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, Eastern Region. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-41405-5.

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