Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides)

Iceland gulls have a commensal, or mutually beneficial, relationship with fishermen, who use the birds' prey-finding abilities to locate large schools of fish. Unlike some other gull species, they are excellent swimmers, and forage for fish by diving from heights of 2-5 m. Occasionally a bird will become completely submerged during a dive. Iceland gulls also dip their bills into the water, picking food from the surface.


The Iceland gull breeds on the coasts of Greenland and Baffin Island. This species winters on the east coast of North America, from Labrador through the Maritimes south to Virginia, as well as on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

For a complete species account, see the Arctic section.