1128. SABINE’S GULL.
Xema sabinii (J. Sabine), Trans. Linn. Soc. xii. p. 520, pl. 29 (1818) ; (Middendorff), Sib. Reise, p. 244, Tab. xxiv. fig. 5, pull. ; Tab. xxv. fig. 1, egg (1853) ; (Naum.), xiii. p. 272, Taf. 272, figs. 3, 4 ; (Gould), B. of E. v. pl. 429 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 67 ; Newton, P.Z.S. 1871, p. 57, pl. iv. fig. 5 (egg) ; Dresser, viii. p. 337, pl. 593 ; Saunders, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxv. p. 162 ; id. Manual, p. 657 ; Ridgway, p. 38 ; Lilford, vi. p. 32, pl. 14 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1046.
Male ad. (Arctic America). Head and upper neck rich dark plumbeous bordered below with black ; mantle pale blue-grey ; edge of the wing and first five quills black, the latter margined on the inner web, and tipped with white ; secondaries and their coverts blue-grey tipped with white ; rest of plumage and the tail white ; the latter slightly forked ; bill blackish, tipped with orange on the upper, and yellow on the lower mandible ; edge of eyelids and gape vermilion ; legs blackish ; iris light brown. Culmen 1.3, wing 11.0, tail 4.6, tarsus 1.4 inch. Sexes alike. In winter the head and neck are white, the ear-coverts and back of head and neck dusky plumbeous. The young have the mantle brownish grey marked with pale brown and dirty white, the crown brownish ashy, and the tail crossed by a subterminal black band.
Hab. The most northern parts Arctic regions of the Old and New Worlds, visiting the British Isles, where it has been obtained on many occasions, the coasts of the North Sea to Norway, Denmark, Holland, N. Germany, and France, and has been recorded from as far south as Switzerland, Austria, and Hungary ; in America it has been obtained on the Atlantic side as far south as the Bermudas and Texas, and on the Pacific it visits the coasts of Peru to Callao Bay in numbers. So far as is known, it breeds only from the Taimyr to the Yukon, not in Spitsbergen or Greenland.
In general habits and especially in its flight this Gull is very Tern-like, and in the breeding season associates with the Arctic Tern. It feeds chiefly on insects of various kinds in the breed-ing season, and small fish and crustaceans in the winter. It breeds in the high north, its nest being a depression in the moss, and its 2 eggs, which are laid late in June or early in July, are dull brownish olivaceous, indistinctly blotched, chiefly at the larger end, with dull brown, and measure about 1.72 by 1.30.
1128. Xema sabinii
1128. SABINE’S GULL.