Bird Families

Polar gull got lost and flew to Minsk Shabany


Home / - Next species Volume 3 / Arctic gull / Larus glaucoides Meyer, 1822

Species name:Polar gull
Latin name:Larus glaucoides Meyer, 1822
English name:Iceland gull
French name:Goeland a ailes blanches
German name:Polarmowe
Latin synonyms:Larus leucopterus Viefflot, 1820
Russian synonyms:little polar gull
Family:Gulls (Laridae)
Genus:Seagulls (Larus Linnaeus, 1758)
Status:A stray view. It was mined twice on Novaya Zemlya (one of the specimens is in the ZIN of the USSR Academy of Sciences).


Coloring. Male and female in breeding attire. The head, neck, nape, the entire bottom and sides of the body, as well as tail feathers and tail coverts are white. Mantle, humeral, loin, flight feathers and upperwing coverts are very light bluish-gray. The tops of long humeral and all flight feathers are white. Wing feathers are white with a delicate bluish-gray tinge. Borders of white and gray flowers on the back and flight feathers are not sharp. In general, in color and plumage pattern, this gull looks like a reduced copy of the burgomaster.

Male and female in winter dress. The head, neck and nape are speckled with very pale and blurred brownish longitudinal spots, other plumage, as in breeding plumage.

Downy outfit. Not described.

Nest outfit. The head, throat and adjacent parts of the neck are whitish with a strongly blurred pale brown pattern in the form of longitudinal or transverse apical spots. The anterior corner of the eye has a dark brown semicircle. The nape is almost monochromatic, pale brown.The back, shoulder, upper forearm coverts, as well as the loin and upper tail coverts of the same color, but with a whitish pattern in the form of irregular transverse spots and stripes and in places marble streaks. The chest and abdomen are also pale brown. Long lateral feathers and lower tail coverts with transverse light stripes. The primary flight feathers are whitish with a distinct brownish-fawn tinge, and the proximal ones have a sagittal brown spot at the apex and the same color with specks. The upper coverts are one-colored, pale-brown, the largest of them with whitish edges at the apices. The secondary ones are pale brown with a whitish apical border and an indistinct, but darker than the background, marble pattern. Wing feathers are pale brown with remnants of a dark pattern. Tail feathers are colored like a mantle; a whitish marble pattern is developed on them at the ends and along the edges of the feathers.

First winter outfit. Like a burgomaster, but fresh feathers are more brownish (Cramp, Simmons, 1983).

First summer outfit (Cramp, Simmons, 1983). Like a burgomaster, all old feathers fade to almost white. Fresh feathers on the mantle and interscapular region are brown, some of them with a gray tinge.

Second winter outfit. The head, neck, nape and upper part of the goiter are white. On the vertex and occiput there are pale brownish-gray longitudinal spots. The anterior corner of the eye has a blackish semicircle. The back and humeral shoulders are very pale grayish with a brownish-fawn tinge, the humeral ones with pale brown specks in the form of transverse stripes or edges. The upper tail coverts and the adjoining part of the loin plumage are pale brown with transverse stripes or spots. The underside and sides of the body are pale, brownish-fawn.The long side feathers and the lower tail coverts are light brown with a whitish transverse pattern. The distal primaries are monochromatic grayish-fawn, the proximal ones are of the same color, but with pale brown specks at the apices. The minor ones and the winglet are colored similarly to them. The dorsal wing coverts are dominated by a pale brownish-fawn tone, uniform or with a marble pattern. Tail feathers are pale brown, noticeably darker than the back and with a continuous small marble pattern from the tops to the bases of the feathers. According to S. Cramp (Cramp, Simmons, 1983), the mantle in this attire, in comparison with the corresponding attire of the burgomaster, is more or predominantly gray. Unlike the first winter plumage, there is no dark pre-apical pattern on the paramount plumage.

Second summer outfit (Cramp, Simmons, 1983). Like the burgomaster, but more gray on the back.

The third winter and summer outfits (Cramp, Simmons, 1983) are similar to those of the burgomaster. The fourth winter and summer outfits, according to S. Cramp (Cramp, Simmons, 1983), are similar to the final ones, but with some features of the third outfit.

Structure and dimensions

Wing length:
Males: (n = 1) - 415,
Females: (n = 4) - 390–450 (average 395).

Beak length:
Males: (n = 1) - 43.0,
Females: (n = 4) - 38.0–42.0 (mean 39.7).

Shank length:
Males: (n = 1) - 62.0,
Females: (n = 4) - 55.0–59.0 (mean 56.7).


The nesting area includes the southern coast of Greenland (up to approximately 70 ° N along the east and up to 75 ° N along the western coasts), southern (from 75 ° N) and east (up to 68 ° N). sh.) of the coast of Baffin Land. Separate breeding grounds are known on the Labrador Peninsula and the islands in the Hudson Strait (Cramp and Simmons, 1983). At the end of the last century, nesting was recorded on Jan Mayen Island (Clark, 1890, cit.from: Cramp, Simmons, 1983) and in 1939 off the coast of Iceland (Einersson, cited from: Makatch, 1974).

Figure 40. Arctic gull distribution area
1 - nesting area, 2 - wintering sites, 3 - flights to the USSR