Ross's Gull

Rhodostethia rosea




Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Brown or green with brown spots

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

21 - 22

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Nest Material:


Some migrate



Ross's Gull: The pink gull of the high Arctic. Small gull with pale gray upperparts, gray-white nape, white neck with thin black collar, and white, wedge-shaped tail; underparts are variably pink. Black bill is very short; legs and feet are orange-red. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has partial collar. Juvenile has brown crown, nape, and ear spot,black and brown barred upper parts, bold black and white wing pattern, black-tipped white tail, and pink legs and feet. 1st winter has white head with dark ear spot and begins to show gray on back and wings. 1st summer resembles breeding adult but has fainter collar and some dark on wings.

Range and Habitat

Ross's Gull: Breeds in northeastern Siberia, northern Canada, and Greenland. Common fall migrant along northern coast of Alaska. Accidental or casual to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, northern Midwest U.S. and New England shore as far south as New Jersey. Believed to winter at sea. Only known nesting area in North America is near Churchill, Manitoba.

Breeding and Nesting

Ross's Gull: Three brown spotted brown or green eggs are laid in a scrape or saucer on a small pile of grass or a tussuck near or in water. Both parents build the nest, and line it with dry grasses, moss and leaves. Incubation ranges from 21 to 22 days and is carried out by both sexes. Semiprecocial young are fed by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Ross's Gull: Swims, wades, or dives to surface while flying. Often feeds along mudflats. Eats insects, marine crustaceans, and small fish.


Ross's Gull: High and melodious "ah-wo, ah-wo" and "clah, clah, clah." Sometimes soft "prrew" or "p-dew" or "kik-kik-kik-kik-kik". In confrontation "miaw, miaw."

Similar Species

Ross's Gull: Little Gull has darker underwing, more rounded wings, lacks wedge-shaped tail, and has a black hood in breeding season and a dark cap in the winter.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X