Thayer's Gull

Larus thayeri




Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Gray, green or brown

Number of Eggs:

2 - 3

Incubation Days:

23 - 27

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On rocky ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with lichen, leaves, and moss.





Thayer's Gull: Having had full species status since 1973, as of 2017, the AOU considers this gull to be a subspecies of the Iceland Gull and has lumped it there. To see this please jump to the Iceland Gull species account. New subspecies range maps for this bird will be available in the next iBird update at which time we will retire the Thayer’s Gull as it’s own species.

Range and Habitat

Thayer's Gull: Nests on high rocky cliffs in the Arctic islands and north coast of Northwest Territories and extreme northern Greenland. In winter, they are usually found in bays, meadows, and beaches on the Pacific coast, from Alaska to the Baja Peninsula. They occasionally wander east to the Great Lakes region.

Breeding and Nesting

Thayer's Gull: Two to three gray, green, or brown eggs are laid in a ground depression lined with mosses, grass, or lichens, and sheltered by rocks or shrubbery. Incubation ranges from 23 to 27 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Thayer's Gull: Diet consists mostly of carrion and fish, but also eats bird eggs; forages by plunge diving or walking along shorelines.


Thayer's Gull: Song is a loud "kuc-kuc-kuc-kuc-kuckle-kuckle" or "hiyak, hiyak, hiyak-hiyak." Also gives mewing and squealing notes.

Similar Species

Thayer's Gull: Herring Gull is larger, has yellow eyes with orange orbital ring, paler gray back, darker-tipped primaries, paler legs and feet, and heavier bill. Iceland Gull has paler gray back, usually yellow eyes, and translucent pale wing tips.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X