BIRDS OF ICELAND : Larus argentatus, Herring gull

Larus argentatus; the herring gull is a very common gull both in the European countries as well as in the northern America's. On Iceland, however, it is a relative new species. It started to colonise Iceland in the 1920's. It is very closely related to the glaucus gull (Larus hyperboreus) with which it will hybridise with fertile off spring. One could question if these are really two different species. The species boundary of the Larus genus is though, very complicated and confusing. Hybridization between the Herring gull and the Lesser Black-backed gull even occurs occasionally throughtout Europe. The herring gull type can be found along most coastal regions of Iceland but for the norht-western districts. In these regions the glaucus gull type is prevelant. The herring gull has more greyish top parts and has black spots on the wing tips - missing on the glacus gull. The legs are pink.

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A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise

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