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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Ivory Gull



Awaiting image for this species



Ivory Gull

Pagophila eburnea


  • Ivory Gull
  • Pagophila eburnea
  • UK: Accidental, 46 records 1958 -2004, average less than 1 a year BTO
  • WI: Very rare (Five or less records)
  • Breeds: High Arctic, Greenland, Spitsbergen, Arctic North America. (Arctic coasts & cliffs)
  • Winters: Northern latitudes of pack ice, North Europe, North Canada (does not migrate far)
  • Small & pigeon-shaped all-white gull (no grey back). Thick bluish bill with yellow tip. Black legs. Young birds dusky faces, wings & tail have black flecking. Juveniles take two years to get adult plumage.
  • Diet: Invertebrates (mostly), fish, scavenges corpses & faeces (of seals & polar bears)


Ivory Gull? There was a leucistic Common Gull recorded in the North Uist area in 2007 (See the Balranald Nature Reserve notice board to see if there are any more recent sightings).

(Leucistic: Simply put means white patches or "washed out" in colour)


Here are photographs of the leurcistic Common Gull to consider:

Leucistic Common Gull
Leucistic Common Gull
Leucistic Common Gull

Common Gulll & leucistic Common Gull

Common Gull
& leucistic Common Gull


leucistic Common Gull



See also a pictures of an Ivory Gull (external site)

Large nests of the Ivory Gull are eaten by Caribou (reindeer) during the winter and early spring

The Ivory Gull has been recorded following polar bears to scavenge their leftovers!



Ivory Gull records in the Western Isles

Very rare (Five or less records)
In 1961 one was seen in Stornoway Harbour!

One was more recently seen in South Uist


The chart below shows how abundant the Ivory Gull is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.















(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)


Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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