Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Aaron Maizlish/Flickr (CC 2.0)

Thayer's Gull

Thayer's Gull
Larus thayeri
Gull-like Birds | Family: Gulls and Terns, Laridae

This species regularly occurs in North America's boreal forest during breeding, migration, or wintering.

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Overview

This bird has variously been considered a species of its own, a subspecies of the Herring Gull, a subspecies of the Iceland Gull, and even a hybrid of the two. At the moment, it is treated as a species. Distinguishing young Thayer's Gulls from young Herrings is very difficult.

Description

24" (61 cm). In all plumages, very similar to the Herring Gull, gray above, white below, but eye of adult dark instead of yellow. Adults have less white on underside of wing tips than do Herring Gulls.

Voice

Mewing and squealing notes.

Nesting

3 bluish or greenish eggs, spotted with brown, in a nest lined with grass, moss, or lichens placed on a high rocky cliff.

Habitat

Arctic coasts and islands, usually on rocky cliffs.

Range/Migration

Breeds in Canadian high Arctic. Winters chiefly on Pacific Coast south to Baja California. Very rare winter visitor to Maritime Canada and northeastern United States.