Larus glaucoides (B Meyer, 1822)
Family: Charadriiformes > Laridae
Iceland Gull is a gentle-looking bird with a neat round head and large eyes that add to this effect.
Iceland Gulls breed along rocky coasts, from Greenland west to north-east Canada. After the breeding season young birds disperse from their breeding grounds with many heading south and west, arriving in Iceland during September. During the winter months a few birds will head further south and those reaching Britain & Ireland arrive early in the winter.
Iceland Gull is a scarce winter visitor to Britain & Ireland. In some years fewer than one hundred birds occur; in other years several hundred are reported.
Iceland Gull identification is sometimes difficult. The following article may help when identifying Iceland Gull.
The latest identification video tackles the difficult pair of gulls, Iceland and Glaucous. March is one of the best months of the year to catch up with wandering gulls as they make their way back to their summer haunts.
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Status and Trends
Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.
This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.
Iceland Gulls are scarce but regular passage migrants and winter visitors They arrive from autumn into northern and western Britain & Ireland and then move south as the winter progresses. Although there are hot spots around fish quays, harbours and landfill sites, they can be found by carefully searching gull flocks at loafing and roost sites. They are scattered around the coast of Britain with concentrations evident in west Cornwall, northeast and northwest England, Caithness, the Northern Isles and the Outer Hebrides. There are records from many inland locations, particularly in central England where the gull roosts are well watched. In Ireland the distribution is predominantly coastal.
Occupied 10-km squares in UK
|No. occupied in winter||489|
|% occupied in winter||16|
European Distribution Map
|% change in range in winter (1981–84 to 2007–11)||+59.1%|
Iceland Gulls are usually winter visitors, most often recorded in late winter.
Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.
Lifecycle and body size information about Iceland Gull, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.
|Field Codes||2-letter: IG | 5-letter code: ICEGU | Euring: 5980|
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