BIRDS OF ICELAND : Larus hyperboreus, Glaucus Gull

Larus hyperboreus; the glaucous gull is like its smaller relative the Iceland gull, a light colored gull. It is lighter in color than the herring gull and also misses the black wing tips of herring gulls. One can, however, question the species boundary. During the latter part of this century herring gulls Larus argentatus from Europe have invaded Iceland and hybridized with the glaucous gull. To date pure breeding populations can be found only in the west (Breiðafjördður and Vestfirðir regions). In these western regions they are quite common. In winter many more come from the Greenland region as winter guests. The smaller Iceland gull (L. glaucoides) is not an Iceland breeding bird. Instead, it is a common winter guest from more northern regions (esp. Greenland). The name is thus somewhat confusing.

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

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