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Ross's Gull

Rhodostethia rosea ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: LARIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Rosss Gull Photo

A small, dove-like gull, the pink Ross's Gull is rarely seen outside of the Arctic. It was unknown in the continental United States until an individual appeared in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1975, but sightings now occur nearly every year.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
11.4–12.2 in
29–31 cm
Wingspan
35.4–39.4 in
90–100 cm
Weight
4.9–8.8 oz
140–250 g
Other Names
  • Mouette rosée (French)
  • (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • During the summer the Ross's Gull eats primarily insects, especially beetles and flies. Some gulls were observed eating algae beneath ice floes.

Habitat


Marsh

Nests in high Arctic marshy tundra and deltas with low willows. Winters along pack ice.

Food


Insects

Insects, marine invertebrates, and small fish.

Nesting

Nest Description

Placed on wet spot near open water.

Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Dabbler

Takes food from or just below surface of water or ice.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

The remote breeding and wintering areas of Ross's Gull make assessment of population trends difficult. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates fewer than 200 continental breeding birds, rates the species at least a 12 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and lists it as a Species of High Concern due to significant population declines and other conservation risk factors. Ross's Gull is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists species most in danger of extinction without significant conservation action.

Credits

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