Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
The most common and widespread of the large gull species on the island group. Occurs at all times of year, but the great majority leave Svalbard in mid-winter (in the polar night). Most numerous by the large bird cliffs during the breeding season and around fishing boats the rest of the year. Usually found along the coasts and in the fjords, more sparsely and seldom in the inland. The population probably numbers more than 5000 pairs.
Features: A large gull of 63-77 cm and 1.2-2.7 kg. ♂=♀, the male is somewhat larger and bulkier. The adult birds are in winter plumage from early October until March (a few have full summer plumage in February). Younger age-groups have different plumages and there is some variation within the age-groups. Vigorous warning when disturbed at nesting site.
Breeding: Breeds throughout the island group, both solitarily and in colonies of up to several tens of pairs. Normally nests out of reach of the polar bear and arctic fox. Lays two or three eggs, usually in a large nest, built of moss, grass, seaweed and feathers.