Sabine's Gull

Xema sabini

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4

SAGU

Code 6

XEMSAB

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Sabine's Gull has a large range, estimated globally at 100,000 to 1,000,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas, Africa, and Europe, this bird prefers grassland, wetland, or marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 330,000 to 700,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of Sabine's Gull is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Sabine's Gull: Small gull with gray back and white nape, rump, and underparts. Hood is solid black and eye-ring is dark red. Bill is black with yellow tip; legs and feet are black. The upperwings are gray with black primaries and white secondaries. Tail is slightly forked when folded.

 

Range and Habitat

Sabine's Gull: Breeds on coastal wet tundra in the arctic, including northern and western Alaska, arctic Canada, northern Greenland, Spitzbergen, and across northern Siberia. Outside breeding season, it is essentially pelagic, found in the eastern Pacific between southern Baja California and central Chile; concentrates in the tropics in the Atlantic.

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Sabine's Gull SONGS AND CALLS

Sabine's Gull A1

Call is a rapid, harsh "kirrr".

Sabine's Gull A2

Long calls from a single bird.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"vihihihi", "hrier-hrier", "tsett"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Its generic placement is disputed; some authors treat it as the sole species in the genus Xema as Xema sabini, while others retain it in the genus Larus as Larus sabini.
  • The only member of its genus, the Sabine's Gull is like no other gull. Many of its behaviors resemble those of terns more than gulls.
  • This bird was named after the English scientist Sir Edward Sabine by his brother Joseph Sabine.
  • A group of gulls has many collective nouns, including a "flotilla", "gullery", "screech", "scavenging", and "squabble" of gulls.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
SecondariesX
Flight feathers that are attached to the wing in the area similar to the human forearm and between the body and the primaries.
PelagicX
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X