Larus glaucoides - Meyer, 1822
Iceland Gull
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Larus glaucoides Meyer, 1822 (TSN 176811)
French Common Names: goéland arctique
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.1009435
Element Code: ABNNM03270
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Laridae Larus
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). Chesser, R.T., K.J. Burns, C. Cicero, J.L. Dunn, A.W. Kratter, I.J. Lovette, P.C. Rasmussen, J.V. Remsen, Jr., J.D. Rising, D.F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2017. Fifty-eighth Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 134:751-773.
Concept Reference Code: A17AOU01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Larus glaucoides
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly (e.g., AOU 1983, 1998) treated as two species L. glaucoides and L. thayeri Brooks, 1915 [Thayer?s Gull], but merged based on evidence of non-assortative mating between thayeri and kumlieni on Baffin and Southampton islands (Weber 1981, Gaston and Decker 1985, Snell 1989), and doubts concerning the validity of the study (Smith 1966) cited by AOU (1973) for treating thayeri as separate from glaucoides (Snell 1989, 1991). The status of kumlieni, the variable form intermediate between thayeri and glaucoides, is poorly known due to the relative inaccessibility of its breeding areas; we retain it here as a separate group within L. glaucoides pending further research.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 27Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5N,N5M (26Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Connecticut (SNA), District of Columbia (S1N), Illinois (SNA), Maine (S1N), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (S2N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNRN), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (S4N), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (SNRN), Rhode Island (S2N), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA)
Canada Labrador (S5N,S5M), New Brunswick (S4N,S4M), Newfoundland Island (S5N,S5M), Nova Scotia (S4N), Nunavut (S5B,SUN,S5M), Ontario (S4N), Prince Edward Island (S4N), Quebec (S4?), Saskatchewan (SNA)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Breeding: southern Baffin Island, extreme northwestern Quebec, Greenland, Iceland, Jan Mayen, and Banks, southern Melville, Cornwallis, Axel Heiberg, and central Ellesmere islands south to southern Victoria Island, northern Kivalliq, northern Southampton and northern Baffin islands, and on northwestern Greenland. L. g. thayeri sometimes summer in the wintering range. Non-breeding: from Newfoundland south on Atlantic coast to North Carolina and Bermuda and inland rarely to Great Lakes (also Old World), and from coastal western North America primarily from southern British Columbia south to southern California and central Baja California. Nonbreeders widespread in northern North America in summer. Casual [thayeri group] in western Europe (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, England, the Netherlands, and Spain), Japan, and Korea; [kumlieni group] in interior and northwestern North America; and [glaucoides group] in northeastern North America. Accidental [thayeri group] in Kamchatka; and [glaucoides group] in Ontario, Alaska, California, Florida, and Novaya Zemlya, although extralimital records of individuals are often difficult to identify to group with certainty.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Breeding: southern Baffin Island, extreme northwestern Quebec, Greenland, Iceland, Jan Mayen, and Banks, southern Melville, Cornwallis, Axel Heiberg, and central Ellesmere islands south to southern Victoria Island, northern Kivalliq, northern Southampton and northern Baffin islands, and on northwestern Greenland. L. g. thayeri sometimes summer in the wintering range. Non-breeding: from Newfoundland south on Atlantic coast to North Carolina and Bermuda and inland rarely to Great Lakes (also Old World), and from coastal western North America primarily from southern British Columbia south to southern California and central Baja California. Nonbreeders widespread in northern North America in summer. Casual [thayeri group] in western Europe (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, England, the Netherlands, and Spain), Japan, and Korea; [kumlieni group] in interior and northwestern North America; and [glaucoides group] in northeastern North America. Accidental [thayeri group] in Kamchatka; and [glaucoides group] in Ontario, Alaska, California, Florida, and Novaya Zemlya, although extralimital records of individuals are often difficult to identify to group with certainty.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CT, DC, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, RI, VA, VT
Canada LB, NB, NF, NS, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Ada (16001), Bannock (16005), Bingham (16011), Bonner (16017), Bonneville (16019), Canyon (16027), Elmore (16039), Fremont (16043), Gooding (16047), Jerome (16053), Kootenai (16055), Nez Perce (16069), Owyhee (16073), Power (16077)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Portneuf (17040208)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Clearwater (17060306)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of 2-3 eggs, mainly May-June (Bent 1921).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Arrives in breeding areas May-June, departs by late September (Bent 1921).
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river, Tidal flat/shore
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cliff, Sand/dune
Habitat Comments: ALL SEASONS: Primarily coastal waters, casually on large inland bodies of water (AOU 1983). BREEDING: Nests on steep cliffs and ledges facing sounds and fjords (AOU 1983) and on low sandy shores (Harrison 1978).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Eats mainly fishes, crustaceans, and other animals obtained from water surface or beaches; also refuse and, reportedly, young may eat berries (Bent 1921).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 56 centimeters
Weight: 557 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Hunted in Greenland (Evans 1984).
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Colonial Seabirds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Breeding Colony
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding , or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Map foraging areas as separate polygons if they are separated from the breeding colony by areas simply flown over on commuting routes.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: Where colonies are closer than 5 kilometers, separate occurrences may be created if research shows little genetic mixing between colonies.
Separation Justification: Occurrences include nesting and foraging areas, but occurrence separations are based on nesting areas (i.e., distance between nesting areas, regardless of foraging locations). Hence, different occurrences may overlap.

Occurrences are not based on discrete populations or metapopulations. Instead, the separation distance is arbitrarily small such that occurrences are of of practical size for data management purposes.

Evidence from a number of species of seabirds indicates that even though the 'home ranges' of individual nesting seabirds may be immense when foraging trips are taken into account, little movement or feeding overlap may occur between nearby colonies. For example, Thick-billed Murres may commute up to 170 kilometers one way on a feeding trip from the colony, but birds from a colony only 8 kilometers away may forage in a completely different direction; even birds from different sub-colonies only 1.5 kilometers apart mostly fed in completely separate areas (Gaston and Hipfner 2000).

Most seabirds have strong breeding site fidelity; e.g., Thick-billed Murres (Gaston and Hipfner 2000, Gaston et al. 1994), Gray-backed Tern (Mostello et al. 2000), Red-footed Booby (Schreiber et al. 1996).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Somewhat arbitrary, but generally very conservative for this group, many members of which travel long distances to foraging grounds.
Date: 20Oct2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Feeding area, Loafing site, Roosting site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of flocks of nonbreeding birds (including historical), including nonbreeding birds within the breeding season and breeding individuals outside the breeding season; and potential recurring presence at a given location. Normally only areas where concentrations greater than 25 birds regularly occur for more than 20 days per year would be deemed EOs; the number of individuals may be reduced for very rare species. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary; defined this small to aid in conservation planning. Sites more than 10 kilometers apart may be joined as one occurrence if research shows that predominantly the same individuals are using both sites.
Date: 07Mar2001
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Adult foraging area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Applies to both adults and juveniles. Evidence of one or more individuals seeking food in suitable habitat. Evidence of prey capture is not a prerequisite, as importance of a given location for foraging may vary temporally with shifting prey.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Scientific basis for assigning foraging separation distances is weak because terns are widespread across the Massachusetts coast and highly mobile. Most gaps in foraging observations likely reflect lack of survey effort.
Date: 10Jan2017
Author: Mostello, C. S.

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Occurrences include nesting areas and associated nesting-season foraging areas (regardless of how far apart they are), but separation distance pertains to nesting areas (breeding colonies). Thus different breeding occurrences may overlap if birds from different nesting areas forage in the same area. Separation distance is not intended to delineate demographically independent populations or metapopulations (such units would be quite large). Instead, separation distance is a compromise between the high mobility of these birds (see following) and the need for occurrences that are of practical size for conservation/management use.

California Gulls foraged an average of 17.4 kilometers from colony (Baird 1976); maximum foraging distances ranged from 32 to 61 kilometers (Rothweiler 1960, Baird 1976). Ring-billed Gulls foraged an average of 11 km from colony (Baird 1977). Least Terns foraged up to 3-12 kilometers from nests (summarized in Thompson et al. 1997). Forster's Terns has a reported feeding radius of 3.2 kilometers (Van Rossem 1932). Black Terns foraged up to 10 kilometers from nests, over continuous suitable but unoccupied habitat (M. A. Stern, pers. comm. 1998). Caspian terns in a colony at the mouth of the Columbia River: 90% of adults foraged within 21 kilometers (Collis et al. 1999).

Date: 21Jul2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 50 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set such that occurrences are of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences are defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 26Apr2004

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Concentration Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set such that occurrences are of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences are defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 16Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.
Notes: Includes all inland-nesting gulls and terns, in the genera LARUS, STERNA, and CHLIDONIAS.

Use Class: Staging
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of flocks resting, roosting, and/or feeding young at a given location prior to breeding or after breeding has been completed. Staging may occur near the breeding site, preceding or following major migratory movements such as oceanic crossings, or it may occur after individuals have departed on migration, but before they have arrived at their final destination (a "stopover"). Staging may occur at sites also used for breeding, but often does not. Staging habitat may be ephemeral. For Common/Roseate Terns in Massachusetts, a minimum of 100 individuals in appropriate habitat is used.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: In Massachusetts, staging areas are separated somewhat arbitrarily, often by jurisdictional or property boundaries, as are nesting areas for coastal birds.
Date: 10Jan2017
Author: Mostello, C. S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15Apr1986
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1983. Check-list of North American Birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 877 pp.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). Chesser, R.T., K.J. Burns, C. Cicero, J.L. Dunn, A.W. Kratter, I.J. Lovette, P.C. Rasmussen, J.V. Remsen, Jr., J.D. Rising, D.F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2017. Fifty-eighth Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 134:751-773.

  • Aquin, P. 1999. Évaluation de la situation des groupes taxonomiques des oiseaux du Québec. Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune. 13 pages.

  • B83COM01NAUS - Added from 2005 data exchange with Alberta, Canada.

  • Bent, A.C. 1921. Life histories of North American gulls and terns. U.S. Natl. Mus. Bull. 113. Washington, D.C.

  • Bull, John. 1964. Birds of the New York area. New York: Harper and Row Publications 540 pp.

  • Bull, John. 1974. Birds of New York State. Doubleday, Garden City, New York. 655 pp.

  • Chardine, J.W. (ed). 1999. Overview of seabird status and conservation in Canada. Bird Trends (Canadian Wildlife Service) 7: 1-7.

  • Evans, P. G. H. 1984a. The seabirds of Greenland: their status and conservation. Pages 49-84 in Croxall et al., eds. Status and conservation of the world's seabirds. ICBP Tech. Pub. No. 2.

  • Gaston, A.J. 1996. Conservation issues and Canadian Wildlife Service priorities for marine birds. Canadian Wildlife Service. 32 pp.

  • Godfrey, W. E. 1986. The birds of Canada. Revised edition. National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa. 596 pp. + plates.

  • Hagemeijer, E.J.M. and M.J. Blair (Editors). 1997. The EBCC Atlas of European breeding birds: their distribution and abundance. T & A D Poyser, London. 903 pp.

  • Harrison, C. 1978. A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North American Birds. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio.

  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Checklist of the amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals of New York State, including their protective status. Nongame Unit, Wildlife Resources Center, Delmar, NY.

  • Parks Canada. 2000. Vertebrate Species Database. Ecosystems Branch, 25 Eddy St., Hull, PQ, K1A 0M5.

  • Pons, J. M., A. Hassanin, and P. A. Crochet. 2005. Phylogenetic relationships within the Laridae (Charadriiformes: Aves) inferred from mitochondrial markers. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37:686-699.

  • Poole, A. F. and F. B. Gill. 1992. The birds of North America. The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. and The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Sibley, C.G., and B.L. Monroe, Jr. 1990. Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. xxiv + 1111 pp.

  • Sibley, D. A. 2000a. The Sibley guide to birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Snell, R. R. 1991a. Interspecific allozyme differentiation among North Atlantic white-headed larid gulls. Auk 108:319-328.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • The American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). Banks, R.C., R.T. Chesser, C. Cicero, J.L. Dunn, A.W. Kratter, I.J. Lovette, P.C. Rasmussen, J.V. Remsen, Jr., J.D. Rising, D.F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2008. Forty-ninth supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 125(3):758-768.

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