Sabine's Gulls are small
gulls normally found in the high Arctic in summer, and off the continental shelf
in the Southern Hemisphere in the winter. After breeding season, they
spend the vast majority of their time at sea, and are only rarely seen from
shore. However, in the fall a few birds (primarily immatures) might be
found far inland, such as the young bird at the right which was photographed on
the Missouri River in Pierre in September 2003.
breeding grounds are on the low marshy Arctic Tundra near the coastline. In
migration and in winter, they prefer to stay a several miles offshore over the
continental shelf where upwelling of cold water occurs. Only rarely are
migrants found inland.
Diet: Primarily feeds on insects and aquatic
insect larvae during the summer breeding season. Also will feed on
small crustaceans, mollusks, small fish, and marine worms in all seasons.
Behavior: Forages by swimming and plucking items
from the water's surface, or by flying and dipping down to the water's
surface. Will also walk along shorelines in search of food.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: High pitched squeaking notes
Migration: Summers in the high
Arctic. Winters in the Southern Hemisphere off the coast of western South
America and South Africa.
Conservation Status: Due to its remote breeding grounds and tendency to migrate far out to sea, they
are usually far removed from human disturbance. Populations are generally
Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Sabine's Gull
Photo Information: September 21st, 2003 -- Missouri River in Pierre