ⓘ Glaucous gull


ⓘ Glaucous gull

The glaucous gull is a large gull, the second-largest gull in the world. It breeds in Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and winters south to shores of the Holarctic. The genus name is from Latin larus, which appears to have referred to a gull or other large seabird. The specific name hyperboreus is Latin for "northern" from the Ancient Greek Huperboreoi people from the far north "Glaucous" is from Latin glaucus and denotes a bluish-green or grey colour.

This gull is migratory, wintering from in the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans as far south as the British Isles and northernmost states of the United States, also on the Great Lakes. A few birds sometimes reach the southern USA and northern Mexico.


1. Description

This is a large and powerful gull, second-largest of all gull species and very pale in all plumage, with no black on either the wings or the tail. Adults are pale grey above, with a thick, yellow bill. Immatures are very pale grey with a pink and black bill. This species is considerably larger, bulkier, and thicker-billed than the similar Iceland gull, and can sometimes equal the size of the great black-backed gull, the oft-titled largest gull species. In some areas, glaucous gulls are about the same weight as great black-backed gulls or even heavier, and their maximum weight is greater. They can weigh from 960 to 2.700 g 2.12 to 5.95 lb, with the sexes previously reported to average 1.55 kg 3.4 lb in males and 1.35 kg 3.0 lb in females. At the colony on Coats Island in Canada, the gulls are nearly 15% heavier than some other known populations, with a mean weight 1.86 kg 4.1 lb in five males and 1.49 kg 3.3 lb in seven females. One other study claimed even higher weights for glaucous gulls, as on Wrangel Island, 9 males reportedly averaged 2.32 kg 5.1 lb and 2.1 kg 4.6 lb in six females, which if accurate, would make the glaucous gull the heaviest gull and shorebird in the world if not as far as is known the largest in length on average. These gulls range from 55 to 77 cm 22 to 30 in length and can span 132 to 170 cm 52 to 67 in, with some specimens possibly attaining 182 cm 72 in, across the wings. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 40.8 to 50.1 cm 16.1 to 19.7 in, the bill is 4.9 to 6.9 cm 1.9 to 2.7 in and the tarsus is 6 to 7.7 cm 2.4 to 3.0 in. They take four years to reach maturity.

The call is a "laughing" cry similar to that of the herring gull, but deeper.


2. Subspecies

The four recognized subspecies are:

  • L. h. pallidissimus, Portenko, 1939: found from north-western Siberia to the Bering Sea
  • L. h. leuceretes, Schleep, 1819: found from north-central Canada to Greenland and Iceland
  • L. h. barrovianus, Ridgway, 1886: found from Alaska to north-west Canada
  • L. h. hyperboreus, Gunnerus, 1767: nominate, found from northern Europe to north-western Siberia

3. Ecology

This species breeds colonially or singly on coasts and cliffs, making a lined nest on the ground or cliff. Normally, two to four light brown eggs with dark brown splotches are laid.

These are omnivores like most Larus gulls, and they eat fish, insects, molluscs, starfish, offal, scraps, eggs, small birds, small mammals, and carrion, as well as seeds, berries, and grains.

  • glaucous - winged gull Larus glaucescens is a large, white - headed gull The genus name is from Latin Larus which appears to have referred to a gull or
  • such as the glaucous gull Larus hyperboreus glaucous - winged gull Larus glaucescens glaucous macaw Anodorhynchus glaucus and glaucous tanager Thraupis
  • similar glaucous gull The American taxon Kumlien s gull is often considered a subspecies, L. g. kumlieni, of Iceland gull The taxon Thayer s gull is considered
  • Glaucous - winged gull and glaucous gull hybridize in western Alaska. These hybrids are sometimes called Seward gull Herring gull and kelp gull have hybridized
  • Kumlien s gull is in fact a hybrid swarm. Kumlien s gulls average smaller overall and much smaller - billed than the very large glaucous gull and are usually
  • other gulls In Washington state, the western gull hybridizes frequently with the glaucous - winged gull and may closely resemble a Thayer s gull The hybrids
  • similar in appearance to the western gull and the glaucous - winged gull Another alternate name is Pacific gull though this also applies to a Southern
  • species of gull in the world, after the great black - backed gull and the glaucous gull It measures 55 72 cm 22 28 in in length with a 142 to 170 cm 56
  • dominicanus vetula Glaucous - winged gull Larus glaucescens Western gull Larus occidentalis Yellow - footed gull Larus livens Glaucous gull Larus hyperboreus
  • black - backed gull or karoro in New Zealand Cape gull L. d. vetula Glaucous - winged gull L. glaucescens Western gull L. occidentalis Yellow - footed gull L. livens
  • that indicates potential predators such as an Arctic fox, polar bear, Glaucous Gull or human near a nest, a long - call given with wrists out, elongated
  • The Vega gull East Siberian gull or East Siberian herring gull Larus vegae is a large gull of the herring gull lesser black - backed gull complex which