• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Thayer's Gull


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Note: In 2017, Thayer's Gull was merged into the same species as Iceland Gull; additional information can be found at our Iceland Gull account. The Thayer's Gull breeds in the high Arctic of Canada and winters along the northern Pacific Coast. It has become a more common winter visitor to the Great Lakes and the East Coast, but it is unknown whether increasing reports are due to increasingly eastward movement of the species or to more birders being aware of this rare gull.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
20.5–23.6 in
52–60 cm
35.3 oz
1000 g
Other Names
  • Goéland de Thayer (French)
  • Gaviota de Thayer (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Thayer's Gull appears like a pale Herring Gull or a dark Iceland Gull. It was once considered a subspecies of Herring Gull, but now is considered by many a race of Iceland Gull.



Breeds in coastal colonies on rocky precipices of steep cliffs from low to high Arctic, normally facing fjords or sounds, though occasionally up to several kilometers inland. Winters along shores of salt water and less often freshwater lakes and rivers.



Fish, carrion, offal in harbors, marine invertebrates, occasionally eggs and young of other birds.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–4 eggs
Egg Description
Variable grayish brown, spotted and blotched with dark brown.
Condition at Hatching
Alert and mobile. Covered in cryptically colored down.
Nest Description

Shallow bowl of moss and grass, placed on narrow cliff ledge.

Nest Placement




Picks food off surface of water, food typically swallowed while flying.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

There is little information of Thayer's Gull population trends. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a breeding population in Canada of less than 10,000 birds. It rates the species a 14 out of 20 on the Contienntal Concern Score, and lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. Thayer's Gull is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.


Range Map Help

View dynamic map of eBird sightings


Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.