French: Mouette de Sabine German: Schwalbenmöwe Spanish: Gaviota de Sabine
Sabine Islands [Upernavik Archipelago], Melville Bay, west coast of Greenland
Subspecies and Distribution
X. s. palaearctica
Stegman, 1934 – Spitsbergen E to Taymyr Peninsula and Lena Delta.
X. s. tschuktschorum
Portenko, 1939 – NE Russia (Chukotskiy Peninsula).
X. s. woznesenskii
Portenko, 1939 – NE Siberia (Gulf of Anadyr) to Alaska.
X. s. sabini
(J. Sabine, 1819) – Arctic Canada to E Greenland.
27–33 cm; 135–225 g; wingspan 81–87 cm. Two-year gull. Highly distinctive, with a slightly forked tail, unique upperwing pattern, and delicate, buoyant tern... read more
A harsh “kirrr”, similar to Sterna paradisaea, is the most frequent call. Also has a call... read more
Arctic tundra, breeding at wetlands with mosses and sedges; on Southampton I, Canada, breeds mainly... read more
Food and feeding
Invertebrates and small fish; occasionally small birds, eggs of Sterna paradisaea and of conspecifics; carrion; fish discards.... read more
Returns to colonies in late May to early Jun, when tundra still snow-covered; lays mainly from Jun, depending on latitude and snow cover.... read more
Trans-equatorial migrant, unlike the other two small Arctic-breeding gulls (Pagophila eburnea... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Global population estimated to number c.330,000–700,000 individuals and is thought to be stable . The Alaskan... read more
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