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Iceland Gull (glaucoides)

Note: "Kumlien's Gull" is considered here to be Iceland x Thayer's hybrid and is in the hybrid section. See this page for a note on taxonomy and a proposed Thayer's/Kumlien's/Iceland scoring system.


First Cycle
Second Cycle
Third Cycle


ICELAND GULL (23-25"; 49-51") glaucoides

BILL SHAPE: small and straight; slightly smaller than Thayer's; about 3x eye diam; gon angle small; culmen curves gently to tip, beginning ½ to 1/3 of the way out
HEAD SHAPE: rounded and dove-like; sometimes w/ forehead sloped into bill; other times appearing puffy
WING EXTENSTION: long; about 1.5 x bill length
POSTURE/HABITS: usually has a gentle, delicate appearance and thin body
BILL COLOR: variable; black outer 2/3 on lower mand and cutting edge, 1/3 on upper mand and along culmen; fades to flesh, gray, olive, or dusky rose base; may appear all dark dull pink to gray or flesh, fading to black tip of variable size (sometimes distinct); extreme tip often pale greenish-yellow w/ variable black subterm band and pale tip; often w/ hint of red gon spot yellow, often greenish-yellow near base, w/ large red gon spot
LEG COLOR: reddish-pink reddish-pink reddish-pink bright reddish-pink
IRIS/ORB RING: dark dark brown to gold as adult glauc pale yellow; kum gold-yellow to brown; orb ring reddish-purple
HEAD: pale w/ fairly even thin diffuse pale g-b streaking over entire head; no solid areas as 1W, w/ obvious pale aur edge, giving collared look as adult but streaking usually more extensive variable light streaking to crown and aurs; heavier streaking down nape and neck sides; broken white eye ring; some appear nearly all white
UNDERPARTS: solid to mottled creamy g-b from breast to belly; vent more barred irreg mottled pale g-b as adult, but w/ greater smudging on breast white; head streaking often extends across upper breast
usually white; may have pale subterm chevron w/ tiny dark spot in tip often pure white as adult white
(in flight):
paler than rest of wing, nearly white; translucent from below outer Ps often g-b on outer webs and tips, otherwise white; translucent from below as adult extensive white tips on P6-10, w/ no dark marks; translucent from below
(in flight):
similar to Ps, though inner feathers rarely slightly darker similar to Ps, though inner feathers rarely slightly darker as adult adult gray w/ broad white trailing edge about 2/3 bill length
TERTIALS: variable; white w/ dark bars, loops, or other small g-b marks; if solid, then pale and not contrasting with upperparts usually white w/ sparse pale g-b marbling, never contrasting darker than upperparts as adult adult gray w/ broad white crescent about same as bill length
GREATER COVERTS: white w/ faint to moderate g-b spots or bars white w/ irreg g-b marbling adult gray mixed w/ some pale g-b adult gray
LESSER & MED COVERTS: white w/ faint to mod g-b subterm U or V-shaped mark, appearing irreg checkered white w/ irreg g-b markings, appearing mottled adult gray mixed w/ some pale g-b adult gray
SCAPULARS: like L&M covs usually adult gray, often mixed w/ some g-b and white as adult adult gray w/ small white crescent
BACK: like L&M covs similar to scaps adult gray adult gray is very pale gray, paler than all Herrings
RUMP: white w/ strong pale g-b bars white w/ faded g-b bars white white
TAIL: varies from totally marbled creamy g-b and white to showing a solid pale g-b band (concolor w/ back) w/ pale fringe, subterm bar, and barring on outermost retrices and across all bases often w/ distinct g-b subterm band which may contrast darker than upperparts; outer rectrices and bases mottled or washed white white w/ broken band of streaks white

The was table created by Steve Hampton and is intended to futher our knowledge of gull identification. Please email me at if you have any suggestions for updating or improving this table. Thanks.