The wing tip pattern on this species is extremely variable, with some individuals approaching Thayer's Gull. Some consider the two to be the same species. Two subspecies of Iceland Gull are currently recognized, Iceland Gull and Kumlien's Gull, the latter of which is most likely to be found in the U.S. In all plumages, the head is round and the bill small and slender. The legs are pink, and the bird appears short-legged. The wings extend well beyond the tail. Alternate Adult: The mantle is very pale gray, slightly darker on Kumlien's. Iceland has entirely white primaries. Kumlien's has variable amounts of dusky gray (never black) outer webs and subterminal bands on outer primaries. The bill is yellow with a red gonydeal spot. Eyes range from yellow to brown, with a red orbital ring. Basic Adult: Shows diffuse brown mottling on the head and breast. The bill is greenish-yellow. Third Cycle: Similar to adult, but retains some brown mottling on wing coverts, dusky markings on tail, and a dark subterminal band on the bill. Second Cycle: Pale gray on back and on some wing coverts. Greater coverts show fine whitish freckling. Primaries are light gray-brown with pale edges. The bill is two-toned, with a pale base and dark tip. The eye is light at this age. First Cycle: Medium gray-brown with finely checkered upperparts. Primaries are lightest part of wing (Iceland) or show two-toned effect from darker outer webs on primaries (Kumlien's). Bill is dark with variable pale base. The eye is dark at this age.
Length: 51 (cm) Wingspan: 130 (cm)
Call is higher and shriller than other large gulls. Usually quiet in winter.
Breeds on rocky cliffs. Winters along openings in sea ice, coastal areas, rarely inland.
Feeds on fish, marine invertebrates, carrion.
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