Herring Gull

Larus argentatus

A regular species throughout the spring, summer, and fall, this species has only been found rarely during the winter months in the Pribilofs. This species has been seen during every spring, summer, and fall season since 2000 though it continues to be seen with increasing frequency. There are only about 10 sightings recorded prior to the mid-1990s, with an increase from an average of 7 daily sightings per year from 1996-1998, to 23 daily sightings per year from 1999-2006, up to 58 daily sightings per year from 2007-2013. The species is often present in the largest numbers during the early spring (May 10th-25th) and fall (August 25th-October 10th), with typically only a few individuals seen during the summer months. In most years this species is likely found locally into the winter with the onset of the winter ice pack likely the only factor limiting this species’ occurrence at that time though there remains only a few winter records.

The “Vega” Herring Gull and “American” Herring Gull have been split into different species by certain authorities at times. The Vega Gull is on average much more common in the Pribilofs, with American Herring Gulls seen only sporadically.

Photo by Ryan P. O’Donnell
Photo by Doug Gochfeld
Herring Gull (2nd from left) with Glaucous-winged Gulls by Aaron Lang