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Pink gull
Rhodostethia rosea
Charadriiformes - Charadriiformes
The Gull Family - Laridae

STATUS. Little-studied species (IV category)

A rare, narrowlyareal, poorly studied species, endemic to Russia. The length of the wing is 250-273 mm. Tundra zone.

Spread. It lives in the tundra of Eastern Siberia from the delta of the river. Yans to the Chaun lowland, with the exception of the strip of the Arctic tundra (1, 2). A small colony is noted in the east of Taimyr in the valley of the river. Great Balahnya (3). Out of the breeding season, birds were observed in the Bering Sea (2), near the Novosibirsk Islands (4) and at about. Wrangel (5). It inhabits marshy lake basins, flooded with spring waters, in the flat tundra and forest-tundra (1). In certain periods, the gull is kept in the sea. Habitats are not affected by human activities. The pink gull nests in colonies from 2 to 20 pairs, often together with the Arctic tern. Nests are arranged on bumps in the tundra, especially on islands by lakes.

Number. Within the main range, there is an ordinary nesting bird, several dozen individuals are kept per 100 sq. Km (1, 6). About 50 pairs were recorded in Taimyr (3). The total number of pink gulls is several tens of thousands (7).

Limiting factors. Not found out. Nests are ruined by arctic foxes and skuas; they suffer from deer grazing and egg collection. Reproductive rates are low. In masonry, in favorable years there are usually 3 eggs, in unfavorable years - 1 - 2, about 50% of which are unfertilized. In favorable years, there are 3 chicks in the nests.

Security measures. Special measures are not developed. Mining is prohibited. It is necessary to declare the largest nesting places of pink gulls protected, having previously specified their location.

Sources of information: 1. Vorobiev, 1963, 2. Portenko, 1973, 3. Dorogov, Pavlov, 1976, 4. Uspensky, 1963, 5. Rutilevsky, 1963, 6. Vorobiev, 1967, 7. Red Book of the USSR, 1978. Compiled : G.K. Ivanov.


Small gull with a characteristic wedge-shaped tail. The color is exceptionally beautiful: the back is ash gray, a narrow black strip (“necklace”) on the neck, the rest of the plumage is white with a bright pink tint. The beak is black, the legs and the ring around the eye are bright red. In winter, a black strip on the neck is absent. Young have a brown top, a white bottom with a dark transverse stripe on the chest, and a tail with a black ending.


The inhabitant of the tundra and forest-tundra, in non-nesting times, is kept in the open sea near the ice border. Migrant. Rare, sometimes ordinary. Breeds in small scattered colonies along swampy lowlands near lakes.

A nest of dry grass suits on bumps in the middle of the water. Masonry in Shauna, consists of 3 brownish or greenish-olive eggs with brown spots. He dives at the approaching man, screaming, flying up close. The flight is easy, a little diving.

The voice is very diverse. In the summer it feeds mainly on insects, in winter - small fish and marine invertebrates. Pink gull nests only in the territory of the former USSR and is subject to protection as a natural monument. It differs from all gulls by a wedge-shaped tail and characteristic coloring.

The nature and lifestyle of a pink gull

Pink gull lives in the tundra and forest-tundra. However, it is attached to a permanent place only during the nesting period, the rest of the time the bird flies freely over the sea, landing for rest on drifting glaciers.

To equip the nest, the seagull selects a place on overgrown swamps or near rivers and carefully weaves a small nest of grass and small twigs there. A pink gull spends a harsh winter near nesting places near the open sea. Birds are grouped near non-freezing areas of water and in winter feed on its gifts.

It is worth noting that the behavioral characteristics of pink gulls have not yet been fully studied due to the complexity of the climate of their natural habitat, as well as due to the excessive timidity of these birds. That is why the description of the pink gull is often based on the assumptions of scientists based on the habits of ordinary gulls.

Migrations of birds occur far from the coast, which makes this phenomenon also practically unobservable. However, if we collect the scattered attempts of different scientists to study the behavior of birds in one picture, we can conclude that the pink gull leaves the nesting area in early August. Birds of different ages rise into the air and fly to wherever, heading north.

Thus, during the migration period, most of the time gulls spend on the way. Strong winds and storms can take individual individuals away from the chosen direction, but such cases are rare.


The diet of this bird includes various insects and small mollusks. And during the period when the pink gull wanders, it eats various crustaceans and fish. If the bird is in the sea in winter, it hunts at a certain distance from the ice. Sitting on the water, she eats the insects that live in it. If she notices the prey swimming by her, then for her capture she is a little immersed in water or even dives. In the case of insufficient food in the habitat of the gull, it protects its territory from other birds.

Enemies of the pink gull

From time to time, pink gulls come closer to people's homes, hoping to profit from something. However, hunters are also on the little bird. The eggs and chicks of this bird are stolen by Arctic foxes, and reindeer also eat eggs. People are contributing to the extermination of pink gulls. Adult individuals are exterminated due to their original and beautiful plumage. From the caught birds, craftsmen make expensive stuffed animals. In the future, scientists plan to make a reserve in the places of nesting of pink gulls.

Reproduction and longevity

This species arrives at the nesting site in May or early June. The bird's nest is made directly on the ground from dry grass, leaves and moss. Around the nest there can be up to twenty other nests of this species, as small birds settle in groups. A pair of pink gulls are very attached to each other and incubate the clutch in turn. The female usually lays 3 eggs and after 3 weeks chicks are born. This happens at the end of June or at the very beginning of July. The chicks of a pink gull very quickly adapt to harsh conditions, quickly become winged and after 20 days fly no worse than their parents.

When the young generation hatch from eggs, molting occurs in birds. After it, all the birds fly to the cold sea coast. There, young growth undergoes severe hardening. Specialists have no data on how long pink gulls live. Approximately, their life time is 10-12 years.

Unique bird feature

In addition to a delicate unusual color, the peculiarity of this gull also lies in the fact that when winter approaches, it flies away not in a southerly direction, like all migratory birds, but in the opposite direction - to the boundless latitudes of the Arctic Ocean. The fact is that once in ancient times these lands were connected with the warm course of the Gulf Stream (it used to be much warmer there than now), and today, most likely, these birds fly there instinctively.

As the conditions of the flow of water changed in those favorite places for wintering of gulls, a more severe climate arose, but pink gulls were able to adapt to similar living conditions.

Interesting Facts

  1. Because of the unusual plumage of a seagull, which casts in a delicate pink color, it is often called the "dawn of the Arctic Circle". This was the reason for the decrease in the number of birds. Previously, local indigenous people hunted these birds for food, but this did not cause significant damage. And when the Arctic became a zone of routes for numerous tourists, problems began to arise. Many tourists began to take with them as souvenirs stuffed this wonderful bird. It got to the point that tourists gave local residents up to $ 200, which began to stimulate the latter to capture and, accordingly, exterminate these birds. Today, any type of hunting for them is criminally punishable. Slowly, the population began to recover, albeit slowly.
  2. A pink gull is so rare that the discoverers of this miracle bird, risking their lives, searched for it in the cold northern waters, specially equipping expeditions. The first to describe the seagull is the greatest Arctic explorer, Fridtjof Nansen. Meeting with this unique gull, which was considered a zoological legend until 1905, was his cherished dream. As a result, in 1905 S. A. Buturlin (a Russian ornithologist) discovered the nesting site of a seagull and described it in detail as a species.
  3. The vocal data of this species of gulls is superior to many birds of the family in voice purity and pitch.
  4. In 1999, the Bank of Russia issued a silver coin (1 ruble denomination), which is part of the Red Book series. They called it “Pink Gull”, and this charming bird is depicted on it.


If someone is lucky enough to meet and take this miracle on the camera, then most likely the bird will appear in the plumage with white plumage, since its unique pink tint is practically not fixed by shooting cameras. It turns out that it is best to see her with my own eyes.

It is also important to note that recently in the incubator of the zoo of the city of Moscow the chicks of this insanely beautiful, tender seagull were bred. And this gives at least some hope of preserving it as a species in the wild. The gull is currently on the Red Book.

As noted above, hunting for it is prohibited, measures are being taken to preserve the population and increase its number. Seagull habitats are protected areas.

Features and habitat of the pink gull

Pink gull - an amazing representative of gulls. The body length of this graceful bird reaches 35 centimeters. Surprisingly delicate color is expressed in the combination of a gray-blue head and back and pale pink breasts and abdomen. This touching image is completed by a thin black bezel on the neck that looks like a strange outlandish decoration. A thin beak is crowned with a curved tip.

Thanks to the graceful features and pink color of the chest and abdomen pink seagull in the photo can be distinguished from the rest of the gulls. In life, the bird looks even more spectacular, especially in the air, as its flight is light, silent, as if it floats through the air without any effort. In addition, from the counterparts of other subspecies, the pink gull is distinguished by a higher voice, and a rich variety of sounds that the bird can make.

It is worth noting that the sounds made by a seagull in everyday life are not chaotic and meaningless, on the contrary, they are aimed at communication and understanding between birds. Thus, with the help of a voice, they express discontent, concern, and even rage.

In wild nature, Wherepink gull dwells in northern Siberia, it is quite difficult to meet it, since the species is not numerous and very shy in relation to humans, in addition, the seagull spends most of the time above the surface of the sea.

Over the years, the human population of birds has declined significantly. So, in the 19th century, the Eskimos hunted for seagulls for food. Then, at the beginning of the 20th, birds were caught and killed in huge numbers for the sake of making beautiful small stuffed animals that sailors bought from local residents and sold outlandish goods for a lot of money.

Currently pink gull is listed in the Red Book. Hunting for it is completely prohibited and measures are being taken to preserve and increase the population. Seagull habitats become protected areas.


The voice of this species is much higher and softer than that of other gulls, and is very diverse. Most often you hear a scream like “e-woo, e-woo”, scared, they emit a short cry “vya, vya, vya”, if they’re very worried - “kiau-kiau”, and when attacked by another gull of the same kind, or terns shout E-duck, e-duck.


Distributed in the north-east of Siberia (from the Yana River to the western edge of the Chukchi Peninsula) and Western Greenland. In winter, roams in the open waters of the Arctic Ocean, penetrating the North Atlantic and the Bering Sea. Nests in the tundra and forest-tundra along the shores of lakes. In clutch 3, less often 2 eggs. It incubates for about 3 weeks. It feeds on insects, small mollusks, during wanderings - fish and crustaceans.

Conservation status

Previously, in the hungry years, the Eskimos shot pink gulls for food. At the beginning of the 20th century, when American sailors, whalers and hunters of sea animals quite often visited Chukotka, the local population hunted these exotic birds for making stuffed souvenirs. Then one copy of a miniature, unusually colored gull cost up to $ 200.

Today in our country, the mining of this species is completely prohibited. Scientists are specifying the largest nesting places of the pink gull in order to further introduce a protected regime there.