The Iceland Gull is a medium-sized gull species that measures between 18-22 inches (46-56 cm) in length and has a wingspan of 46-50 inches (117-127 cm). They weigh between 0.9-1.3 pounds (400-600 grams) and have a white body with pale gray wings, a small yellow bill, and dark eyes. The bird also has pink legs, which can be useful in identifying it from other gulls. In winter plumage, the bird’s head is streaked with brown.
The distinguishing field marks of the Iceland Gull are the small yellow bill and the pink legs. It has a relatively smaller bill than most gull species, which sets it apart from other gulls. The pink legs also differentiate it from other gulls, making it an easily recognizable bird. In breeding plumage, the bird’s head is pure white, while in winter, it has a streaked brownish-grey head.
The Iceland Gull is a migratory bird that breeds in the high Arctic regions of Canada and Greenland. During the winter months, they can be found in coastal areas of the United States, Canada, and Europe. They are known to fly long distances during migration, and some individuals have been recorded to travel up to 4,000 miles (6,400 km) in a single migration.
The Iceland Gull feeds on a variety of food sources, including fish, insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. They are opportunistic feeders and will scavenge for food in urban areas, as well as in natural habitats. During the breeding season, they primarily feed on fish and marine invertebrates found in the Arctic waters.
The Iceland Gull has a conservation status of Least Concern, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Although the population trend is decreasing, the species’ large breeding range and stable population size mean that it is not currently at risk of extinction. However, the bird faces some threats, including habitat destruction, hunting, and pollution. Conservation efforts are underway to protect the bird’s habitat and reduce these threats.