Ross's Gull

Rhodostethia rosea (W Macgillivray, 1842) QG ROSGU 6010
Family: Charadriiformes > Laridae

Rosss Gull, Brendan Doe

Sightings of this small Arctic-breeding gull are mostly confined to northern counties of Britain & Ireland, but it has been recorded in all months of the year.

Even now, there is much to be learned about this delicate gull; its breeding grounds were only found in 1905, and its wintering range is still poorly known – but thought to be largely within the Arctic Circle, north of the breeding areas.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Ross's Gull

  • Breeding
  • Winter


related video

Identifying Kittiwake and other small gulls

Young Kittiwakes have a distinctive wing pattern, but several sought-after rarer species have similar markings - how can you tell them apart?

This video looks at several Gulls in juvenile plumage- Kittiwake, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Sabine's Gull and Ross's Gull.

Develop your bird ID skills with our training courses

Our interactive online courses are a great way to develop your bird identification skills, whether you're new to the hobby or a competent birder looking to hone your abilities.

Browse training courses

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.


We have no population estimates for this scarce species.


This species is a rare vagrant and was recorded during Bird Atlas 2007–11 as shown on the map.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK


This vagrant is too rarely reported to map distribution change.


Ross's Gull is a very rare vagrant, with most records in winter, but occasional birds in spring.

Weekly occurence of Ross's Gull from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.


Lifecycle and body size information about Ross's Gull, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.


Sample sizes are too small to report Productivity and Nesting statistics for this species.


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Welsh: Gwylan Ross
Catalan: gavina rosada
Czech: racek ružový
Danish: Rosenmåge
Dutch: Ross' Meeuw
Estonian: roosakajakas
Finnish: ruusulokki
French: Mouette rosée
German: Rosenmöwe
Hungarian: rózsás sirály
Icelandic: Rósamáfur
Irish: Faoileán Ross
Italian: Gabbiano di Ross
Latvian: sarta kaija
Lithuanian: rožinis kiras
Norwegian: Rosenmåke
Polish: mewa rózowa
Portuguese: gaivota-rosada
Slovak: cajka ružová
Slovenian: rožnati galeb
Spanish: Gaviota rosada
Swedish: rosenmås

Links to more information from

Would you like to search for another species?