ICELAND GULL

ICELAND GULL(Larus glaucoides) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Iceland Gull adults have light grey backs, wings,  and tail. The head and under parts are white. The bill is yellow with a tinge of green, and has a red spot on the lower mandible. Juveniles are mottled light grey and white, with a dark bill. The legs and webbed feet are pink for adults as well as juveniles. Sexes are similar. This bird is around 60 cm (24 inches) long. There are a few sub-species (including the Thayer’s Gull) with regional variations.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Larus-glaucoides
NAME: The English name ‘Gull’ would have its origins in Old Celtic ‘Gullan’ and other languages, including Latin ‘gula’ for throat. As per Choate this would be related to the gull’s ‘indiscriminate’ scavenging habits, its ‘willingness to swallow almost anything’ (think ‘gullible’). The Latin genus name ‘Larus’ refers to a gull, and the Latin species name ‘glaucoides’ means that it is ‘similar’ to the Glaucous Gull. The world ‘glaucous’ means a blue-grey-green color.
HABITAT: Sheltered rocky coastal cliffs, inshore waters in the winter.
DIET: Omnivorous – fish, eggs, molluscs, garbage dumps. Also pluck fish from the water while flying.
NESTING: Breeds in colonies on cliffs along the coast. The nest is a mound of plant material and seaweed placed on the ground. Two or three green-beige eggs are laid, incubated by both parents, who also both feed the chicks.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range includes the Arctic and Greenland. Does NOT breed in Iceland (in spite of its name), but will winter there, also along the western and eastern coasts of Canada and northern United States, and the Great Lakes.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland_gull#/media/File:Larus_glaucoides_map.svg
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, but is common  except in the summer.
CONSERVATION: The species has a large range and is currently not considered at risk.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Herring Gull, Glaucous Gull
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/iceland-gull
http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-iceland-gull.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland_gull
http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/482/overview/Iceland_Gull.aspx
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Iceland_Gull/id
https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/iceland-gull

Iceland Gull - 1st winter plumage - Cavendish, PEI - © Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull – 1st winter plumage – Cavendish, PEI – © Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull, adult - Victoria Park, PEI - Mar. 9, 2018 - Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull, adult – Victoria Park, PEI – Mar. 9, 2018 – Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull foraging - Cavendish, PEI - Mar. 2019 - © Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull foraging – Cavendish, PEI – Mar. 2019 – © Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull juvenile - Victoria Park, PEI - Mar. 9, 2018 - Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull juvenile – Victoria Park, PEI – Mar. 9, 2018 – Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull adult - Charlottetown, PEI - Mar. 2019 - © Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull breeding adult. Note red eye ring – Charlottetown, PEI – Mar. 2019 – © Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull in flight - 1st winter plumage - Cavendish, PEI - Mar. 2019 - © Roberta Palmer
Iceland Gull in flight – 1st winter plumage – Cavendish, PEI – Mar. 2019 – © Roberta Palmer

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