Bill strong; bluish gray, the tip yellow: legs black: naked part of the tibia very small: tarsus one inch six lines: membranes of the toes somewhat abbreviated: adult plumage pure white.
L. eburneus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 769. Sabine in Linn. Trans, vol. xii. p. 548. Edmondst. in Wern. Mem. vol. iv. p. 501. Ivory Gull, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. p. 214. Selb. Must. vol. ii. p. 497. pl. 94*.
Entire length sixteen inches, (according to Temminck, nineteen inches): breadth, wings extended, three feet three inches and a half. Edmondst.
(Adult plumage). The whole plumage pure white, without spots of any kind: bill thick and strong; deep bluish gray at the base, the rest ochre-yellow: irides deep brown: wings extending an inch and a half beyond the tail: legs black; covered with a rough skin: tibia feathered nearly to the tarsal joint: membranes of the toes short, and slightly hollowed out: claws much hooked. In young birds, the plumage is pale grayish white, more or less spotted and barred with blackish brown; the tips of the quills, and a transverse bar at the extremity of the tail, of this last colour: bill blackish, the tip yellow: legs blackish gray. (Egg). Unknown.
Inhabits the Arctic Regions. A rare and accidental visitant in this country. A solitary individual in its second year's plumage is recorded by Mr. Edmondston to have been killed in Balta Sound, Zetland, Dec. 13, 1822. It is now in the Edinburgh Museum. According to Selby, it has been also killed, in an immature state, in the Frith of Clyde. Food, according to Captain Sabine, blubber and the flesh of whales. Nidifica-tion unknown.
** Large; exceeding twenty inches in length.