Ivory Gull

– An Arctic Beauty

The Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea) is an Arctic bird that captures the hearts of all who see it. Its striking appearance and unique behavior make this gull a fascinating subject for study.

Basic Description:

The Ivory Gull is a medium-sized gull with pure white plumage, black legs, and a yellow bill. During breeding season, its eyes turn deep red. Unlike other gulls that are opportunistic feeders, Ivory Gulls are specialized feeders that hunt for food on sea ice or open water. They have strong wings that allow them to fly long distances in search of prey.

Where To Find This Bird:

Ivory Gulls breed only in the high Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, and Russia. They can also be found along coasts from Alaska to Newfoundland during winter months.

Habitat:

During breeding season, Ivory Gulls nest on rocky cliffs near the coast or inland areas where there is minimal disturbance by humans or predators like polar bears or arctic foxes. In winter months they roost on pack ice near leads (cracks in ice), breathing holes made by seals and other marine mammals.

Food:

Ivory Gulls are scavengers but also hunt for their food which includes fish such as cod and sculpin; mollusks such as clams; crustaceans like krill; seabird eggs and chicks; carcasses of whales killed by killer whales (orcas); walrus carcasses killed by polar bears; hair seals killed by both killer whales (orcas) and polar bears.

Cool Facts:

– The Latin name Pagophila eburnea means “ivory-loving”.
– The Canadian government has listed Ivory Gulls as endangered species since 2007 due to habitat loss caused by climate change.
– Their unique feeding habits make them vulnerable to pollutants entering the ocean’s ecosystems.
– Adult birds have no natural predators, but their eggs and chicks are vulnerable to predation by Arctic foxes, Polar Bears,
– They have an exceptional ability to store fat in their body which keeps them well nourished during winter months when food sources are scarce.
– Their eyes turn deep red during breeding season because of the accumulation of carotenoid pigments from food they eat.

In conclusion, Ivory Gulls are magnificent birds that live only in the Arctic region. They play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy ocean ecosystem by feeding on fish, mollusks, crustaceans as well as scavenging off marine mammal carcasses. We need to protect these fascinating creatures for future generations to enjoy.