Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday's Foto

Despite their common name Iceland Gulls can be found in a variety of locations outside of Iceland. From Birdlife International:

"The Iceland Gull breeds in the Arctic regions of Canada and Greenland (to Denmark), and outside the breeding season can be found wintering in the northernmost states of the eastern USA as far inland as the great lakes, on Iceland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the north coast of Norway, the southern tip of Scandinavia and the northern tip of Germany."

A couple can usually seen every winter along coastal Brooklyn.

The IUCN Red list classifies them as "Least Concern" due in part to their extremely large range and stable population. Their diet consists mostly of small fish, but also mollusks, crustaceans, carrion, berries and seeds. There are two subspecies. The "Kumlien's Gull" is the western form. Breeding in Canada it shows variable amounts of dark in the wingtips. The Greenland breeding subspecies winters from Greenland to Europe and has very little or no dark in its wingtips. The scientific name, Larus glaucoides, means "larus - rapacious seabird", "glaucoides From syn. specific name Larus glaucus Brünnich, 1764 (= Larus hyperboreus, Glaucous Gull); Gr. -oide's resembling (eidos likeness) (Larus)."

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