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Ivory Gull

Silhouette GullsGulls
Ivory GullPagophila eburnea
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Laridae

Basic Description

A frequent companion of polar bears, the Ivory Gull is an all-white seabird that lives amid ice floes in the High Arctic. In this inhospitable environment, it survives by feeding on fish and invertebrates around the edges of pack ice and drift ice, as well as being a consummate scavenger, feeding on the remains of polar bear kills, seal afterbirth, and scat. Because of their dependence on sea ice, Ivory Gulls are among the most vulnerable of all species to the effects of climate change.

More ID Info
image of range map for Ivory GullRange map provided by Birds of the WorldExplore Maps

Find This Bird

To see an Ivory Gull requires either a lot of luck or a pilgrimage to the High Arctic (such as northern Alaska spots like St. Lawrence Island or Utqiagvik [Barrow] in October). Every few years, an Ivory Gull appears far south of its usual range, very rarely as far south as California or New Jersey. These appearances are big news in birding circles and spread through eBird, Facebook groups, and listservs as birders travel to get in on the sighting.

Other Names

  • Gaviota Marfileña (Spanish)
  • Mouette blanche (French)
  • Cool Facts

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