The Iceland Gull is a pale
northern Gull, normally found in the Arctic in summer, and the northern Atlantic
coast in winter. It only actually occurs in Iceland during the winter
months. They are very closely related to the Thayer's
Gull, and many believe them to be slightly different races of the same
species. Iceland Gulls are typically found further east in North America,
while Thayer's Gulls are typically found
Habitat: Breeds on rocky cliffs in the
Arctic. During winter and migration, most are still found in coastal
regions, sometimes including the shores of the Great Lakes and other large
inland water bodies.
Diet: Primarily feeds on fish. Will
also feed on mollusks, crustaceans, eggs and young birds, berries, seeds,
carrion, and human refuse.
Behavior: Forages by either walking along the
ground, wading in shallow water, swimming on the water's surface, or dipping
down to the water's surface while in flight.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
similar to a Herring Gull.
Migration: Breeds in the Arctic. Most move only short
distances south during the winter, with some reaching New England and the Great
Conservation Status: Populations stable, with some
evidence of increases in recent decades.
-- Iceland Gull
Photo Information: January 2004 -- New Hampshire
-- Photo by Garth