Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Art Sowls, USFWS

Glaucous Gull

Glaucous Gull
Larus hyperboreus
Gull-like Birds | Family: Gulls and Terns, Laridae

An estimated 5% of the species' North American breeding range lies within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

The Glaucous Gull is uncommon south of Canada; it is usually found with flocks of other gulls when it visits the United States. This is one of the most predatory of gulls, capturing and eating auks, plovers, small ducks, ptarmigans, and songbirds as well as lemmings and fish. It is also a scavenger, feeding on garbage, dead animal matter, and even bird droppings.

Description

28" (71 cm). A large gull. Adults pearl-gray above, with no black in wing tips; white on head and underparts. Bill yellowish; feet pinkish. Immatures creamy buff, with pinkish, dark-tipped bill. See Glaucous-winged Gull.

Voice

Hoarse croaks and screams.

Nesting

3 light brown eggs, with dark chocolate blotches, placed in a cliff nest lined with moss and grass.

Habitat

Shores of lakes, rivers, seacoast; also refuse dumps and sewage outflows.

Range/Migration

Breeds in Alaska and northern Canada. Winters along coast south to California (rarely) and Virginia; rare in Great Lakes and on Gulf Coast. Also in Eurasia.