Common Name

Scientific Name

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Thayer's gull, Larus thayeri, spends its summers in Arctic Canada and Greenland, and then migrates to spend its winters along the west coast of North America, from British Columbia to Baja California. Thayer's gull is seen only infrequently in inland areas. In Utah, Thayer's gulls are uncommon visitors in areas frequented by flocks of gulls (such as garbage dumps and lakes) along the Wasatch Front, from Provo to Brigham City.

Like many gulls, Thayer's gulls are omnivorous, eating a large variety of items, such as decaying matter, berries, insects, and even the young of other gull species. Thayer's gulls are colonial nesters that build saucer-shaped nests on rocks along cliffs on Arctic coasts. Each male mates with just one female. The female then lays two eggs, which are incubated by both parents for about four weeks.


  • Behle, W. H., Sorensen, E. D. and C. M. White. 1985. Utah birds: a revised checklist. Utah Museum of Natural History, Occasional Publication No. 4. Salt Lake City, UT.

  • National Geographic Society. 1996. Field guide to the birds of North America, 2nd edition. The National Geographic Society, Washington, D. C.

  • Peterson, R. T. 1990. A field guide to western birds, third edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.