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17 Amaze-wing Facts About The Thayer's Gull For Kids

Interesting Thayer's gull facts for kids

A subspecies of the Iceland gull, the Thayer's gull (Larus glaucoides thayeri), is endemic to North America. In the breeding season, the species is found in the Arctic Island of Canada and moves to the Pacific coast in the winter season. The wintering population of Thayer's gulls is found in southern Alaska, the Gulf of California, the Mississippi River, and the Great Lakes of North America.

In non-breeding months, the plumage of Thayer's gull has a gray mantle with black wingtips and many brown lines on the neck and head can also be seen, the underside of the wings is pale. Generally, the head, neck, belly, breast, and underwings are white, while the legs are pink. In summers, the bill turns bright yellow and a larger rep spot on its lower mandible appears. The Thayer's gull eye-ring is dark in color. Juvenile Thayer's gull has a black bill and black legs, unlike adults. The average weight and length of the species are around 1.59-3.31 lb (720-1500 g) and 22-25 in (56-64 cm) respectively.

Thayer's gull was considered a subspecies of American herring gull but was categorized as a separate species in 1973. The IUCN has not evaluated the status of the species yet.

Keep on reading to learn more interesting facts about the Thayer's gull. If you want to know more exciting information about different animals, check out these articles on laughing gull and ring-billed gull.

Thayer's Gull Interesting Facts

What type of animal is Thayer's gull?

The Thayer's gull is a subspecies of Iceland gull. This seabird is endemic to several North American regions. Thayer's gull was considered a subspecies of American herring gull but was categorized as a separate species in 1973.

What class of animal does Thayer's gull belong to?

Thayer's gull belongs to the class of Aves, the family of Laridae, and the Larus genus.

How many Thayer's gulls are there in the world?

The exact population of the subspecies of Iceland gulls is a subject of huge debate as Thayer's gull identification is not easy but studies suggest that the breeding population is between 8,000-12,000. Also, no special mention has been made in the IUCN Red List.

Where does Thayer's gull live?

In the breeding season, the species is found in the Arctic Island of Canada and moves to the Pacific coast in the winter season. The wintering population of Thayer's gulls is found in southern Alaska, the Gulf of California, the Mississippi River, and the Great Lakes of North America.

What is Thayer's gull's habitat?

The habitat of Iceland gulls generally differs according to seasons. In the breeding season, these birds are found on the rocky coastline of islands while in winters they are found water bodies near the coast such as estuaries and bays. The species also dwell in freshwater ponds and garbage dumps around the coast.

Who do Thayer's gulls live with?

Like other seabirds, Thayer's gulls are not solitary and prefer to live in groups or colonies. An interesting fact about their social behavior is that they often get mixed with other gull species.

How long does a Thayer's gull live?

The exact lifespan of Thayer's gulls is not known as of now but Iceland gulls generally live up to four years. The oldest recorded Iceland gull was around four years and eight months old.

How do they reproduce?

Very little information regarding their reproduction patterns is available as of now, but like other species, Thayer's gulls are monogamous which means the pairs remain together every year. The pair generally separates when a male fails to provide enough food to the female partner or if the parents fail to synchronize the eggs. These birds reach sexual maturity after four years.

The breeding season generally occurs in the summer months and during this time adult Thayer's gulls are involved in multiple courtship displays. Adult seabirds use different calls to attract each other while males offer food and pebbles to females. The Thayer's gull nest is generally made up of grass, moss, and lichens. Males and females build nests near the ledge of a rocky cliff. Females lay about three bluish or greenish eggs. Parents generally feed the young birds until they become mature enough. Unlike adult gulls, the young bird has a black bill and black legs.

Unlike other birds, Thayer's gulls interbreed with gulls of other species, studies reveal that they interbreed with glaucous-winged and western gulls on the west coast.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN has not evaluated the status of the species of Iceland gull as of now. Predation and climate change are a few major threats to the species.

Thayer's Gull Fun Facts

What do Thayer's Gulls look like?

In non-breeding months, the plumage of Thayer's gull has a gray mantle with black wingtips and many brown lines on the neck and head can also be seen, the underside of the wings is pale. Generally, the head, neck, belly, breast, and underwings are white while the legs are pink. In summer, the bill turns bright yellow and a larger rep spot on its lower mandible appears.

These rare Thayer's gull facts would you love them

How cute are they?

When it comes to appearance, these seabirds are very adorable but their melodious calls would mesmerize anyone. Also, females approach adult males in hunched posture during the breeding season, while males would respond by regurgitating food to them.

How do they communicate?

Like other seabirds, Thayer's gulls use several calls such as mewing and squealing notes to communicate with each other. These calls are used to identify their partners, warn the predator, and demonstrate aggression and dominance.

How big is Thayer's gull?

While talking about the Thayer's gull size, the average weight and length of the species are around 1.59-3.31 lb (720-1500 g) and 22-25 in (56-64 cm) respectively. These gulls are one of the largest in the Laridae family. The birds are twice the size of black-headed gulls and glaucous gulls.

How fast can Thayer's gull fly?

The exact speed of the species is not known as of now but the Thayer's gull bird is known for hunting during its flight. The bird is considered more maneuverable in flight as it generally dives to catch its prey.

How much does Thayer's gull weigh?

The average weight of the species is around 1.59-3.31 lb (720-1500 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to male and female birds of Thayer's gull species.

What would you call a baby Thayer's gull?

The term chick is used to refer to the baby of the species. Juveniles have no pink legs like adults.

What do they eat?

The subspecies of Iceland gull generally prey on fish, colossal squids, eggs, small birds, carrion. They are often preyed upon by peregrine falcons.

Are they dangerous?

Generally, these birds prefer not to live among humans and pose no threats but if they feel threatened, they may attack. The Thayer's gull bill is around 1.7-2.2 in (4.4-5.5 cm) long and is enough to harm humans.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not allowed to keep them as pets.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The glaucous-winged gull is almost twice the size of Thayer's gull.

The American Ornithologists' Union declared Thayer's gull a separate species from herring gull.

Why is it called Thayer's gull?

An American ornithologist, John Eliot Thayer named the species.

Thayer's vs. Iceland gull

Identifying Thayer's gull could be very tough as the species resemble both, the herring gull and Iceland gull.

The Iceland gull is quite slender and light compared to Thayer's gull. The former bird has a laughing cry call like a herring gull, while Thayer's gull calls generally include mewing and squealing. Also, Thayer's gull has a dark gray mantle and blackish wingtips. Unlike Iceland gull, the seabird has a large bill and rounded head.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these kelp gull facts and Laysan albatross facts for kids pages.  

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Thayer's gull coloring pages.

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